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[Press Release] Gulf South Communities Commemorate Ten Years Since BP Oil Drilling Disaster

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 16, 2020

Press contact: Emma Collin; emma@gcclp.org; (631)708-6840


GULF SOUTH COMMUNITIES COMMEMORATE 10 YEARS SINCE BP OIL DRILLING DISASTER

FRONTLINE COMMUNITIES HONOR LIVES LOST; CONNECT THE DOTS BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND A VISION FOR A NEW ECONOMY


Gulf South - Communities from across the Gulf South join in solidarity to remember and understand the impact of the BP Oil Drilling disaster ten years ago. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partners of the Gulf South for a Green New Deal initiative and the Southern Movement Assembly have shifted this event from a public gathering to a 3 hour virtual program from 10am-1pmCDT on Monday, April 20, 2020.   Registration is required to attend- CLICK HERE.  This on-line session invites allies and friends from across the region and the nation to join and remember the lives lost, discuss the impact on Mississippi fishing communities and lift up the role of art and culture in disaster.  Speakers include a former Deep Water Horizon rig worker, local advocates and recovery leaders all offering first hand knowledge of impact and community solutions. This event is open to the public and press.


“The fishing and tourism industries have not fully recovered, putting a disproportionate financial impact on local businesses and fishing communities, particularly Vietnamese-American and African American fisherfolks. We must understand the true impact so we develop better ways forward”,  says Jonathan Green, Executive Director of the STEPS Coalition.


“With the Gulf South for Green New Deal initiative, Gulf South communities identify and develop the solutions needed for recovery and for the transition to a healthier, more just economy and a collective vision for a sustainable future,” says Colette Pichon Battle, Director Executive of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy.


“Gulf South communities still face a false choice between low wage work or a job in industries that kill workers and destroy the environment. We need a transformed economic system that does not continuously jeopardize the health of its workers. We can no longer afford a polluting economy,” says Gordon Jackson, chair of the Biloxi NAACP’s climate program.


This drilling disaster continues to have a devastating impact on the natural environment and the communities that rely on healthy waters and biodiversity to put food on the table. Ten years later, scientists are confirming that the oil released reached further than communities were told and that the damage is far worse than expected.  By many metrics, Gulf Coast communities are no safer now than they were 10 years ago.  Regulatory rollbacks and the lack of restoration funding leaves impacted communities questioning false promises, while toxic industries continue forward expansion in the midst of a worsening climate crisis. 


A recording of the event is available upon request and speakers who joined the call are available for interviews. Please contact speakers directly or Emma Collin; emma@gcclp.org; for a recording. 


EVENT COSPONSORS include: 34th Street Wholistic Gardens, Biloxi Islamic Center, Boat People SOS (Biloxi), Cosmic Poetry Sanctuary, EEECHO, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Healthy Gulf,  Immaculate Heart Community Outreach Inc., Mississippi Rising Coalition, MSG Marina Aquaculture LLC, NAACP Biloxi Branch, One Voice, STEPS Coalition, People’s Advocacy Institute, Sipp Culture, Southern Movement Assembly.


Gulf South for a Green New Deal is a five-state formation anchored by the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy and connects community organizing,  frontline advocacy and policy development towards the creation of a Green New Deal that prioritizes the Gulf South and advances long-existing work towards climate, racial, and economic justice. 

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