Today marks the six month anniversary of the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Around 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. More than 6,000 birds, more than 600 sea turtles, and almost 100 marine mammals have died, and news surfaced this week that the spill likely killed 20 percent of juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna in the vicinity of the spill. And the long-term effects remain to be seen.
It was the nation’s largest environmental disaster in history, and yet, there’s a pervading sense that the disaster is behind us, that the majority of the country has taken a deep breath and moved on. Congress hasn’t passed climate legislation, and the Obama administration lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling several weeks earlier than planned.
What’s wrong with this picture?
We’re frustrated. If you are too, here are some ways to channel that frustration into action:
1. Tell your Senators to support the development of offshore wind power. We have a new report out that shows how offshore wind would be cost-effective, more beneficial to job creation, and better for the environment and ocean in a variety of ways than offshore drilling.
2. Join the thousands of people who have signed our petition to stop offshore drilling. The question is not whether there will be another spill, but when.
3. If you’re in the gulf, join Radical Joy for Hard Times on Saturday, October 30th for their event, Gulf Coast Rising. From Houma, Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida, students, fishermen, artists and environmentalists will get together to reflect on how the oil spill has affected their lives. Each group will create a picture out of ordinary materials that represent the vitality of life in the Gulf, and take a photograph of themselves with their image.
Groups that create a picture fifty feet long or larger may be included in a limited number of aerial photos by the award-winning New Orleans photographer, Matthew White. (White generously contributed spill photos to this blog and to the Oceana magazine.) You can sign up for the event via their website.
It’s only been six months — so let’s not forget. Help us make sure this doesn’t happen again.