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Today we acknowledge the anniversary of the Gulf Coast oil spill and Deepwater Horizon disaster which killed 11 oil rig workers and released 60,000 barrels of oil a day for four months into the Gulf, adversely affecting marshes, coastline and wildlife from the Louisiana bayou to the Florida Panhandle and threatening the economic livelihood of thousands in that region. A few facts about last year’s spill, from Oceana (an organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans):
- Number 1 largest accidental oil spill in history.
- 200 million gallons of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 straight days.
- The Gulf of Mexico spill is more than 18 times the size of Alaska’s Exxon Valdez, previously the nation’s largest oil spill.
- 6124 dead birds, 609 dead sea turtles, and 115 dead mammals have been collected in the Gulf, many of whose deaths have been directly attributed to oil.
Today’s proposed action is: Sign a petition urging congress to reconsider offshore drilling legislation, and to instead focus on cleaner energy solutions and clean oceans. Urge congress to support bills that shift subsidies from oil and gas to renewable technology such as offshore wind, and bills that prevent new oil and gas leasing in our oceans.
For more information on the effects of last year’s spill and to further consider what is happening in the Gulf today, watch this 4 minute video on the science of last year’s spill, where one year after the largest oil spill in the history of the Gulf of Mexico, scientists are trying to determine the long-term ecological effects.