Oceana’s Georgia field organizer, Margie McClain, attended the Bonnaroo music festival last month; she kindly sent us this post about her experience:
Away from the comforts of home, surviving the blistering temperatures, thousands set up in camps and vendor areas across 700 acres of farm land in Manchester, TN. Bonnaroo is famous for advocacy participation and on its tenth anniversary, it didn’t let Oceana down.
I was lucky to be joined by volunteers of the Oceana Planetroo Vendor Team to promote the passing of the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act. A strong line of shows and an even stronger line of support helped us get 1000 petition signatures over the course of the four-day festival from every state, including Alaska and Hawaii, to support the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act.
Oceana has been working for nearly 7 years to persuade nine chlor-alkali plants to switch from mercury-based technology to a more efficient mercury-free technology that is widely available. Currently, over 90 percent of the chlor-alkali manufactured in the United States uses mercury-free processes but there are four plants remaining in the US (in Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia) that still use the antiquated mercury-based processing.
Attendees that visited Oceana’s vendor tent were given a mercury-free wristband or temporary tattoo, plus the opportunity to go out into the world of Planetroo and spark the conversation somewhere else. One lucky volunteer won an iPod Nano for gathering the most signatures. He did a great job getting the word out that people and wildlife are being exposed to excessive amounts of mercury in seafood.
Oceana is encouraged that Congress is another step closer to ending this unnecessary source of mercury contamination – the bill is expected to be in mark-up by the end of July.
Show your support by Telling Congress to support the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act.