Gulf Oil Spill’s One Year Mark Approaching

It’s been a while since I’ve posted..it’s been a busy couple of months. I realized the other day that it’s been almost one year since the oil spill in the gulf. One year…can you believe that?!

I noticed that the Sierra Club has asked to be a part of the BP lawsuit. This is interesting, because a non-profit is joining forces with the Justice Department. Why would they want to be a part of a large federal lawsuit? Apparently they want to ensure that coastal communities are represented…why aren’t more non-profits stepping up and asking to be a part of this lawsuit?

Meanwhile, 5 more dolphins were found dead in gulf waters. Damn, no one is listening. The article questions whether this was a result of the oil spill. Seriously? What else would it be, people? The amount of oil and corexit in the gulf of mexico is staggering. It’s been one big federal science experiment for almost one year. One year! According to scientists studying the dolphin deaths, it’s a “mass mortality”.  Yes, I hope it’s due to algae blooms, but let’s get real. We all know what caused it, let’s not try to blame it on algae blooms for the millionth time.

At least the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has launched a massive, long-term study on the health affects of the oil spill. A little too late? Maybe. Maybe not. Where in the hell were these people almost a year ago?

At least someone has been telling the truth since the beginning and that’s Dahr Jamal. Here’s his latest article from the gulf entitled, “We’re Poisoned, We’re Sick”.

Alright gang, it’s time to come out of our winter hibernation and start kicking some ass again. I’ll be back soon and keep fightin’ the good fight.

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Takin’ care of business in the Gulf

At the six month mark of the worst environmental disaster in American history, many gulf coast residents feel abandoned by federal, state, local governments and the general public.  So, in light of this, they are rallying together to make change happen. In fact, this is an article that Rocky Kistner wrote that focuses on how gulf residents are now issuing a call to arms. One of Elvis Presley’s favorite sayings was “TCB”, which stood for “Takin’ Care of Business”.  I’m an Elvis fan and I have to tell you that there are several organizations who are takin’ care of business in the gulf and gettin’ down to it.

For instance, the Gulf Restoration Network has joined forces with several nonprofit and community based organizations to put together “The Weeks Bay Principles for Gulf Recovery”. This is an amazing effort which is outside of the federal government’s initiative and really addresses issues that the feds are ignoring such as seafood safety and Corexit dispersant poisoning amongst gulf coast residents.

Also, faith-based organizations have come together and created “After the Spill”. If you remember, many faith-based organizations served as the backbone of support after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the gulf coast. This is a great article that spotlights their efforts to bring multiple denominations and religious beliefs together in support of one common goal.

I’m so proud of these efforts and want to get the word out there about the great work these folks are doing.  Please support them in any way that you can, even if it’s sharing this blog post with your friends and family.

Takin' Care of Business

Walton County, Florida Beaches Contaminated with Oil + Corexit

A friend of mine that lives in Walton County, Florida recently posted this article and I wanted to share it with ya’ll. The tourism boards, BP and local government officials are calling it “all clear” on the beaches within Walton County and surrounding areas, encouraging more people to come to the gulf for their vacations.  According to University of South Florida researcher Rip Kirby, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, in this article by The Walton Sun, Kirby says “This beach is as contaminated as all the rest…I took the local government officials’ word that these beaches were not impacted…”.  Walton County officials didn’t return any calls from The Walton Sun on Kirby’s findings. Not surprising.

If anything, this is more evidence that independent testing needs to be done on the waters and beaches in the gulf.  BP along with the local, county and federal government officials are not telling the truth.  The oil and the Corexit dispersant are in the water and on the beaches. This is impacting both locals who live in the area and folks who are traveling to this area for their vacations. In fact, many who live in the area are going back into the water and back onto the beaches.  This is especially troubling because these are the people who live in the gulf on a daily basis.  Alot has been said about the tourists, but what about the locals? Should they be swimming, surfing, snorkeling or building sandcastles? 

Since there hasn’t been much of an answer on this topic and most of the answers have been “There’s no oil, the beaches and waters are fine”, many people are unsure what to do.  Walton County, Florida is home to the famous Seaside community and within a stone’s throw away of Destin, Florida.  In fact, they’ve opened up the waters and the Destin Fishing Rodeo is taking place this month.   If this article by the Walton Sun shows us anything it’s that BP, local and federal officials do not know what’s going on and they are trying to keep a public health disaster quiet.

Gulf coast residents (along with the rest of the country) are being misled and lied to, and the saddest thing about it is that no one seems to care.  As I’ve said before, we need action and we need it now.  The beaches and waters are CONTAMINATED. I mean, what does that word CONTAMINATED do to you? Does it scare you? It sure as hell scares the crap outta me and something needs to be done about it for the health of our country.  We need independent testing.  We need task forces. We need Superman. Seriously.

Bloody Mississippi Bayous

This is a YouTube video of oil and Corexit in the bayous of Ocean Springs, Mississippi that was posted today by Lorrie Williams. She has a YouTube channel where she posts video updates of the oil spill’s affects on her hometown.  I initally found it on the Ladies’ Guide to the Apocolypse blog (which is an awesome blog, by the way) and had to share it with all of you. Man, this video is intense. It totally blows my mind that the federal government continues to tell us that the water is “clean” and the oysters, fish and shrimp are fine to eat.

Take a look at this video and tell me if you’d eat an oyster, a shrimp or a strawberry shortcake outta this water…

What kind of crap are the feds tryin’ to pull? Seriously? What the hell?

Oh, and BP has waltzed out of town with it’s drawers still in tact. In fact, their shares went up a point today. But, the residents of Ocean Springs, Mississippi’s housing values went into the toilet along with their health. Am I still living in America?

Help for Gulf Coast Homeowners?

Alright, I’ve got friends and family on the gulf coast who are considering forclosure due to the combination of the housing crisis and the oil spill. In light of this, I just got a flyer in the mail  about “Hope for the Gulf Coast” .   It reads, “Struggling to Pay Your Mortgage? Need Assistance to Save Your Home?”. 

This article shows how much value gulf coast homeowners will lose this year and over a period of five years due to the oil spill. It’s pretty crazy.  But, the National Association of Realtors posted this article on their website with alot of great information regarding real estate claims, including interactive videos put out by the Emerald Coast Association of RealtorsThis is another article on oil spill claims from the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors.  I realize that the claims process has been reportedly slow, but I would contact these folks before completely giving up, because you just never can tell…

So what are these nonprofits from “Hope for the Gulf Coast”  going to help the homeowners of the gulf coast with? Are they going to sit there in their metal folding chairs at the Pensacola Fairgrounds and pass the buck? Or, are they really there to help? I honestly don’t know. But, I think it’s worth checking out.  There are three events, one in Kenner, LA on Sept. 21st, one in Biloxi, MS on Sept. 23rd and the last one in Pensacola, FL on Sept. 25th.  Here is the listing of events for 2010.  The events are listed as “a broad partnership of the mortgage industry, non-profits, and local partners coming together to lead Gulf Coast homeowners down the path of recovery”.  Let’s hope so. There’s a lot of folks on the gulf coast who want to walk down the path of recovery, I can tell you that.

The Dream is Over…

Anyone who thought that Obama truly stood for change is probably having a hard time grasping why he has recently abolished the transparency role he established over at the White House. I wasn’t ever truly sold on Obama, but I thought that he could do better than the last administration. Especially when it came to disasters. I mean, I watched Bush and Brownie dance their way through the Gulf Coast almost five years ago on their FUBAR tour and it wasn’t pretty. I figured that Obama would do a much better job of handling a similar situation, but he hasn’t.

In fact, he’s done such a terrible job that lifetimes of gulf coast residents will be dealing with this oil spill.  It makes me sick just to think about how my friends’ and family’s kids will grow up with this terrible situation. Some of these kids are only 1 or 2 years old.  Where will they go swimming and spend their summers? In a toxic waste dump full of unevaporated oil and Corexit? NPR just put out this article on how the first spill studies are showing that gulf coast kids are at risk.

I also saw that Obama didn’t go swimming in the Gulf and didn’t eat any Gulf seafood. Figures. Oh, and I love it that he criticizes BP on the air, but turns around and lets Thad Allen cozy up with BP around the coffee pot to determine “solutions” to this mess.  Unbelievable.

It’s been a busy week and I haven’t been bloggin’ as much but let me tell you, that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinkin’ about this situation every day. Catch me on twitter @bayougirlblog for daily twitter updates. There are some great folks on twitter who are spreadin’ the truth about this oil spill like wildfire…check it out and see ya soon.

Apalach

Apalach is short for Apalachicola, Florida.  I’ve been goin’  to Apalach and Port St. Joe since I was a kid.  My most recent memory of that area is hangin’ out at the Indian Pass Raw Bar, also known as Gator’s…eatin’ oysters, shrimp and hot dogs (and not necessarily in that order!) with my family. If you’re in the area, definitely head over to Indian Pass Raw Bar…they’re great folks…

From at least A.D. 1000, these areas of Florida were settled by Apalachee Indians (hence the name Apalachicola) who viewed the waterways as a crucial lifelife which provided food and transport.

As you can see from this wonderful video put out by WFSU TV in Tallahassee, Florida, not much has changed in Apalach. The water is still a crucial lifeline that provides food, transport, jobs and a way of life for many. Since the spill, the ripple effects may continue for years to come in this area. This video was shot in 2003, and really captures the spirit of the oystermen and women who depend on the water for their livelihoods.

Satan in a Sunday Hat…

If you live (or have lived) in the south, you know what this means. For ya’ll that don’t, well…basically BP and the rest of them are tryin’ to walk out of this oil spill situation and wipe their hands of it all. Put simply, you can’t trust a single thing that is being put out by mainstream media. The oil is still there, animals are still dying…it’s still happening.

 This is an amazing article by Jerry Cope and Charles Hambleton that describes the egregious crimes they are committing against us and our environment.  Check it out here.

Massive Fish Kill in Fourchon, Louisiana due to Oil Spill

Drew Wheelan, who is a Conservation Coordinator with the American Birding Association posted this article along with pictures of a massive fish kill in Fourchon, Lousiana yesterday.  This is proof that the oil spill isn’t over as BP and the federal government would like us to believe. This is an article that I really want to get out there. Please retweet, repost and share with friends and family. Here’s the link: http://birding.typepad.com/gulf/2010/08/yesterday-in-port-fourchon-louisiana-i-came-upon-an-amazing-scene-thousands-of-birds-mostly-gulls-were-engaged-in-a-feedi.html?sms_ss=email

Amazing effort to save gulf marine life…

This guy is incredible. Jack Rudloe, a respected marine biologist who is fighting to keep our marine ecosystems alive in the gulf, has started Operation Noah’s Ark. Operation Noah’s Ark is attempting to preserve marine species  if they’re wiped out by the oil spill. He’s based in Panacea, Florida on the gulf coast. Here’s a video of him and his team:

I’m blown away by this herculean effort to save marine life that is so vital to our estuaries, bays, bayous, and oceans.  Click here to link to an article that Ben Montgomery from the St. Petersburg Times wrote about Jack and Operation Noah’s Ark.  Also, here’s a link to Jack’s nonprofit organization, it’s called The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab and you’ll find links to Operation Noah’s Ark on his website.  What a great, positive story in all of this sadness and uncertainty…thank you, Jack!

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