Today marks the sobering anniversary of the massive Gulf Spill. On April 20, 2010, a blowout on British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon set off a chain of events that would eventually become our nation’s worst environmental disaster. The accident not only claimed 11 lives, but over the next 87 days, and estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled out into Gulf, wiping out the livelihoods of tens of thousands of others.
One year later the situation is still dire, with over 66 miles of coastline still posted as moderately or severely oiled and 1,000 square miles of ocean still closed to fishing. Economists believe that up to $783 million in commercial fishing losses and 11,000 jobs have been lost in Louisiana alone.
For its part the Surfrider Foundation, who had already been in the offshore drilling fight for two years prior to the Gulf Spill, is continuing its efforts by starting a new testing program that focuses on accumulations of oil and dispersant residue in beach sand.
“Dispersant-laden oil continues to wash up on Gulf coast beaches threatening coastal recreation and the environment,” says Chad Nelsen, Environmental Director for the Surfrider Foundation. “Our Emerald Coast Chapter is working with scientists at University of South Florida to use ultraviolet light detection methods to monitor oiled beaches to ensure these impacts are mitigated.”
The Surfrider Foundation is also marking the one-year anniversary by launching a new offshore drilling-related website: www.nottheanswer.org
. The new site, which was designed by the creative team at Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, is designed to be a central source for information and action to oppose new offshore drilling..
Finally, on June 25th the Surfrider Foundation will once again be partnering with other NGO’s for Hands Across The Sand, a demonstration event which brings together people from all over the country to show their opposition to offshore drilling and support for clean energy alternatives.