BP oil spill disaster could end up working in favor of coastal restoration

"There's been a real increase in D.C. in awareness of the urgency of the problem."

08-22-2010 // Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune

This excerpt is from a Times-Picayune article

The Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped about 210 million gallons of poisonous crude oil just off the Louisiana coast, unleashed economic and social chaos across the region, and leaves a shadow of doubt over the future of fish, wildlife and humans that will linger for decades.
 
But here's a surprise: A coalition of national environmental groups working since 2007 on the effort to restore Louisiana's crumbling coast believes BP's bad behavior may end up saving more of those wetlands than it ever destroyed.
 
They say three months of daily newscasts have dramatically increased national awareness of the state's real coastal disaster, and the billions in fines BP is expected to pay could bankroll critical projects Congress had refused to fund.
 
The only road block to a happy ending is a political atmosphere in Washington they describe as more toxic than chemical dispersants.
 
"There's been a real increase in D.C. in awareness of the urgency of the problem," said Karla Raettig, the National Wildlife Federation's manager for the collaborative effort with the National Audubon Society and the Environmental Defense Fund.
 
"And we've seen the same response nationally from members and volunteers," she said. "It's definitely helped."
 
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