Two Years into BP Oil Spill, “Our Whole Life is Upside-Down”

Tar mat coats marsh in Bay Jimmy off Louisiana’s Barataria Bay, March 2012 (NWF staff photo)
It wasn’t until several years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill that the full ecological impacts on Alaska’s ecosystems revealed themselves, and two years into the Gulf oil disaster, troubling signs continue to emerge:

Ryan Lambert has been a Cajun fishing and hunting guide for 31 years and is alarmed by the decline he’s seen in the last two.

This [Bay Jimmy] island should be covered with shorebirds and there are none,” he says. “They ought to be nesting in here. Any island before this oil spill, you come up to an island like this and you can’t hear yourself think. And look, it’s void of life.” Lambert says his speckled trout catch is also down 98 percent.

“You know, we’re used to going out … where this water is coming through and [picking] up 40 fish right there, no problem in a half hour,” he says. “You go try to catch a fish there right now, that’s not happening.” Lambert says he’s tired of hearing “Everything’s fine, come on down,” a message in some of BP’s ads. “Our whole life is upside-down, on hold, waiting to see what happens.”

He says two years later, it’s not fine — and it’s far from over.

It’s not just BP that wants to pretend everything’s fine—plenty of members of Congress have been more eager to rush back to reckless drilling than they have been to commit the federal government to comprehensive Gulf restoration.

I joined The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann last week to talk about continued Congressional inaction in the face of ongoing evidence of the oil’s destruction, particularly the troubling dolphin deaths:


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