When the BP oil spill was in full force last year, I was disappointed about the way the spill was being portrayed as a one-off disaster, instead of what it really was: the latest chapter in the degradation of the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, we had to clean up the spill, but we also had to look at the bigger picture of agricultural pollution, dredging wetlands to create canals for the oil and petrochemicals industries, and other actions that endangered coastal and marine ecosystems. These observations were necessary for the environmental health of the Gulf, as well as its continued productivity for sustainable human use.
As I noted in a post last year, musicians in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast have worked as hard as anyone to keep last year’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, and the subsequent oil spill, in the public mind. This week, as we celebrate Earth Day, and mark the one year anniversary of the disaster in the Gulf, musicians will again go to work to memorialize those killed in the explosion, and to raise awareness of the ongoing struggle with oil and dispersant pollution faced by coastal residents.
Thursday, May 20, 2010, marks one month since BP’s oil rig exploded in the Gulf Coast, killing 11 people and unleashing one of the worst environmental disasters our nation has ever seen. Since then, millions of gallons of oil have gushed into the ocean, poisoning marine life and threatening hundreds of miles of coastal…