NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Six months after the BP drilling disaster, community leaders on the Gulf Coast are delivering a clear message: the oil is not gone.
The drilling disaster's impact on local communities, public health, the economy, and the coastal ecosystem continues to unfold, adding to the environmental challenges the region has struggled with for decades. Crucial issues need to be addressed by BP and the government in order to protect the health of families, local communities, and workers who depend on a sustainable Gulf in order to survive. These issues include ensuring the safety of local seafood, providing health care -- both mental and physical -- for cleanup workers and Gulf residents, and providing the funds to clean up and restore the Gulf.
The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health (http://www.gulfcoastfund.org), a community-led philanthropy in the Gulf of Mexico dedicated to empowering and supporting grassroots and community-based organizations, has been working with Bridge the Gulf (http://www.bridgethegulfproject.org), a Gulf Coast citizen media project promoting justice and sustainability, to gather stories directly from local residents impacted by the BP drilling disaster. "We've been working since Katrina to shift the dynamic and find ways to assert our voices and our vision for a sustainable future on the Gulf Coast. We're determined that the communities most affected by the BP disaster will be heard. Bridge the Gulf is an important tool that we intend to use wisely and creatively in this movement for self-determination," explains LaTosha Brown, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Fund. The organizations are creating a collection of video profiles that vividly portray the challenges faced by the often overlooked people who have been working for years to improve the quality of life in their fishing communities and who are on the front lines of the BP disaster.
The videos can be seen at http://bridgethegulfproject.info/node/16.
Profiled in the videos are:
Rosina Phillipe of the Atakapa-Ishak tribe in Grand Bayou Village, Louisiana, whose tribe has been living and fishing on the Gulf for centuries
Lora Ann Chaisson of the United Houma Nation on Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, who grew up fishing and shrimping on the Gulf, and worries for the future of her tribe
Thao Vu of the Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese American Fisherfolk and Families in Biloxi, Mississippi, who provides support for ethnic minority groups
Tracy Kuhns, Louisiana Bayoukeeper in Barataria, Louisiana, who fears for the health and future livelihoods of her grandchildren
To arrange an interview with LaTosha Brown or any of the speakers profiled in the videos, or to obtain broadcast-quality videos, contact Barbara Nonas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-902-6061.
SOURCE Gulf Coast Fund