Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary A Reminder of Urgent Need to Restore Ecosystems
Conservation experts urge further action to make communities and ecosystems more resilient to land loss and sea level rise
NEW ORLEANS — Next week marks 10 years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 men, released 134 million gallons of oil into open waters and devastated the Gulf Coast, destroying habitats and livelihoods. A decade after the disaster, as advocates continue to address the impacts of the spill and help make communities resilient to rising sea levels resulting from climate change, Restore the Mississippi River Delta has released the following statement:
“Ten years after one of the worst oil spills in history, Louisiana has emerged as a world leader in protecting vulnerable coastlines. Our story is proof that even in the face of extraordinary challenges, when we work together — not only can we survive, we can thrive.”
In the years since the spill, Louisiana has leveraged its Coastal Master Plan to restore its coastline and deal with the mounting effects of climate change. Those bipartisan efforts have also utilized funding from the Gulf oil spill settlement.
“We’ve already seen how projects like the funded River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp have the potential to safeguard our communities from powerful storms and protect habitat for vital birds and wildlife. Now, we’re planning proactively before the next disaster, and continuing to innovate — for example, by taking steps to use the Mississippi River to rebuild vanishing land.”
To reflect on progress made since the oil spill and needs going forward, Restore the Mississippi River Delta recently released a report with nine recommended strategies for advancing critical ecosystem restoration in the delta, maximizing the investment opportunities of the oil spill settlement and engaging local communities for a more resilient future.
About Restore the Mississippi River Delta:
Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Jacques Hebert, Environmental Defense Fund, 504.264.6849, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Bourg, National Audubon Society, 225.776.9838, email@example.com
James Karst, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, email@example.com
Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation, MooreA@nwf.org