One year ago, the tragic Deepwater Horizon blowout triggered a summer-long nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico. None of us will forget our heartbreak as we viewed photos of oiled birds, turtles, and other wildlife—and the frustration we felt each day for the three months it took BP to cap the well. But in the midst of despair, our volunteers sounded a firm, confident note of hope. Some 34,000 responded to our appeal—and several hundred joined our active ranks in the Gulf. Those whose homes were too far away for direct action helped in many other ways, from contributing funds and inspiring others to do so, to creating healthy and inviting backyard habitat for birds en route to and from the Gulf during migration, to conserving energy. Thank you!
Today, April 20, is not just a time to look back. It is a time to look forward—and to focus on the challenges ahead of us. While the well is capped, the impacts of the spill are far from over. What we’ve learned from other spills, like the Exxon Valdez in Alaska, is that the birds that are recovered and officially reported dead are only a small fraction of those that actually died. And the continued presence of oil and its by-products, in habitat and in the food chain, may impact food supply and reproductive health for many more years. Factor in the many other longstanding environmental threats confronting the Gulf region, and it’s clear that its wildlife and its communities still need your help. Visit the Audubon website to find out what you can do, or get directly involved by downloading the Hope for the Gulf, kit.
One month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, oil continues to spew into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is now being seen from Louisiana to Mississippi, and there are fears that the loop current will carry it up the Atlantic Coast. Read more.
While immediate impacts on birds and wildlife have not yet been as dramatic as many recall from oil spills like the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, fears of long term effects on birds, marine life, and Gulf coast communities are mounting—and Audubon president Frank Gill urged speedy Congressional authorization of necessary funding earlier this week (read statement). It’s clear that response and recovery will require long-term commitment—and that’s why we are so grateful to all of you who have volunteered to channel your concern, expertise and time into the recovery response.
This week, we continued to mobilize volunteers in the gulf coast states to help transport birds and provide other vital emergency services. We also engaged additional volunteers in bird and habitat monitoring activities. One of our Mississippi volunteer monitors put together a video report so that we could share his experience on a Mississippi barrier island with you.
Be an advocate! The oil spill is a wake-up call about the need for sound energy policy that protects our natural resources, and your letters, comments and voice can be a powerful force for change.
* Urge President Obama to stop new oil drilling in the fragile Arctic Ocean. You can send a letter directly to the President at the Audubon Action Center.
* Meet with your Members of Congress while they are on Memorial Day recess. Let them know you want BP to be held accountable for the spill—and that you expect their leadership and support for policy that will encourage clean energy and prevent another spill.
Create healthy habitat for birds wherever you are. Many of the birds that migrate through the Gulf Coast nest and raise their young further north—and throughout the US.
* Audubon At Home offers many ways you can make your backyard bird friendly.
* Volunteer with your local Audubon Chapter.
Thank you for your continued support!