According to Waterkeeper Alliance, the Gulf communities continue to see impacts of the BP oil spill on a daily basis. Oil continues to wash ashore along beaches and wetlands. Local and state economies and household budgets are still suffering, and health impacts, potentially from exposure to the mixture of crude oil and toxic dispersant, are being reported.
Seven Key Findings
1. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is an ongoing disaster.The oil is not gone, and long-term impacts are still unknown. If past oil spills are used as a barometer we can fully expect the Gulf Coast to suffer continued environmental degradation for decades.
2. The BP deepwater horizon oil disaster is a national disaster.The Gulf Coast serves as a resource for the entire nation. The Gulf of Mexico has one of the most productive fisheries in the world, providing more than two thirds of the nation’s shrimp and oysters along with four of the top seven fishing ports by weight.
3. There are growing public health concerns on the gulf coast.While setting up pathways toward ecosystem restoration, the government continues to ignore citizens’ calls for action on public health. Currently there is no government forum for those suffering from and concerned about the short- and long-term health impacts.
4. Citizens’ participation must be placed at the highest priority for appropriate restoration.
5. Dedicate clean water act penalties to the gulf coast for environmental restoration. The Gulf of Mexico is a major economic engine for the entire country, and its restoration must be adequately funded.
6. The gulf coast must restore and rebuild sustainabily. The past seven years have been tumultuous for the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav and now the BP oil disaster have devastated both important natural resources and local economies. In our changing times and climate, the Gulf Coast must show leadership by rebuilding, recovering, and restoring sustainability.
7. Long-term environmental monitoring is essential.
Read Sept 2011 report: Waterkeeper%20Alliance%20report.