The oil is still here and so are we!

Residents participated in a protest organized by Gulf Restoration Network and several other groups in July 2010.

Tomorrow marks the day when, exactly a year ago, NOAA and the federal government declared 75 percent of the oil from the BP Oil Spill was gone. At the time, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco cautioned that “Less oil on the surface does not mean that there isn’t oil still in the water column or that our beaches and marshes aren’t still at risk,” but this wasn’t enough to lessen the blow among Gulf Coast residents over the government’s celebratory statement.

It also changed the conversation in the media from serious concern about the long-term effects to “Did we over-exaggerate the size and impact of this spill?” Meanwhile, Gulf Coast residents were still seeing oil and dead wildlife washing ashore, struggling to make ends meet with the loss of jobs and wondering what the future would hold.

Tomorrow (Aug. 4), Louisiana Bucket Brigade is participating in two events focused on the Gulf Coast and developing unified action to counteract the lack of action from our political leaders and the lack of interest in the media to continue telling this important story.

10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Teach-In For Unification for Environmental Justice in the Gulf Coast Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, 5212 Claiborne, New Orleans – All are invited to share and learn what various organizations and communities are doing and ways we can best unite the Gulf Coast to ensure justice for those continuously affected by irresponsible industries, spills, chemical plants, toxic waste dumps, oil refineries and more. Speakers include: Dr. Mike Robichaux, Stephen Bradberry, Tara Hollis, LABB’s Anne Rolfes and many more. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact Cherri Foytlin at foytlinfamily@cox.net.

5 p.m. – “The Oil’s Still Here and So Are We” demonstrationLocation: BP Incident Command Center, 1250 Poydras Street, New Orleans – We will assemble to demonstrate to the world that the oil disaster is not over and to highlight the following: the health concerns of fishermen, coastal citizens and clean-up workers must be addressed, future use of dispersants must be banned, a citizens oversight committee must be created, we must have independent, non-industry funded science, we must have transparency in the claims process, and fishermen cannot be blamed for the death of sealife. For more information, please contact Cherri Foytlin at foytlinfamily@cox.net. All individuals and organizations are invited to participate.

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