Five years after the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, nation’s largest environmental groups ask the President to accelerate restoration before start of another hurricane season
Today, groups working on Gulf restoration called on President Obama to redouble the administration’s efforts to hold BP accountable for the oil disaster that started five years ago – and continued for nearly 90 days – making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The groups, including Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy and Ocean Conservancy released the following joint statement:
“The communities and wildlife along the Gulf Coast are still suffering from the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Today, we stand with the people and the communities of the Gulf – and the ecosystems that provide their homes and livelihoods – and ask President Obama and his administration to make Gulf of Mexico restoration a national priority.
“Five years ago, President Obama promised to do whatever is necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy. It’s time to renew that commitment. Not only must BP be held fully accountable for the harm it caused in the Gulf, but the administration should ensure that its agencies work with all the Gulf stakeholders to make certain that the fines and penalties are used for well-planned, coordinated, large-scale comprehensive Gulf restoration.
“The five Gulf states have a gross domestic product of over $2.3 trillion a year, which relies heavily on seafood, tourism and other industries that depend on a healthy environment. In addition, a strong and healthy ecosystem is the best defense the region has against storms like Hurricane Katrina. The communities of the Gulf cannot afford to keep losing time, as we are just weeks away from the start of another hurricane season. We hope the administration will make this work a priority, and we look forward to working with the President and his agencies to speed up restoration efforts.”
At-a-glance: 2010 oil spill’s devastating impact:
Recent studies estimate 1,000,000 birds died as a result of being exposed to the oil.
Exposure to oil has been shown to cause abnormal development in many species of fish, including mahi-mahi, Gulf killifish, and bluefin and yellowfin tuna.
Health assessments of dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay found that those dolphins were five times more likely to have moderate to severe lung disease than dolphins at other sites and in previous studies of wild dolphins.
A 2014 study found evidence of a 1,250-square-mile area of oil contamination on the ocean floor around the Macondo wellhead in deep Gulf sediments.
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