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Guest Blog: Renee Blanchard- Deepwater Horizon Explosion Memorial, April 20

posted Apr 9, 2011, 3:58 PM by Nancy Swan   [ updated Apr 12, 2011, 11:06 AM by Thomas Swan ]

Guest Blog: Renee Blanchard, Save Our Gulf Coordination, Waterkeeper Alliance


"April 20 will mark the one year memorial of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. I'm currently working for the Waterkeeper Alliance and we need help from like-minded communities and organization's to help raise awareness during this week.

Please consider sending out a message to your community, friends, and supporters.

One issue that is extremely important is the public health crisis that is growing on the Gulf coast. With 1.8 million gallons of toxic dispersants and 250 million gallons of crude oil released into the the Gulf of Mexico. No one knows the long term consequences of this toxic cocktail. Oil clean up workers and people who live in communities close to where oil washed ashore are becoming ill. We must make sure all Clean Water Act penalties return to the Gulf coast. Right now there is no mandate that this will happen. And we need your help to make this happen.

Below I have pasted a sample email alert that you can modify and use as you like. I have also pasted a sample letter to congress. I have more sample writing, such as an op-ed and social media posts, if you are interested."

Let me know if I can help you in anyway.
Renee Blanchard
Save Our Gulf Coordinator
Waterkeeper Alliance

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Sample Email Alert to Supporters

  Dear friend,

 On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon well exploded 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven men lost their lives that day. On April 22, the rig sank into the Gulf of Mexico, triggering 87 days of uncontrolled oil discharges to the Gulf.  From April 20 to July 18, it is estimated that 250 million gallons of oil were released into our environment. The long term consequences to our health and our environment of this toxic cocktail remain unknown.

[Insert why your organization cares [or you care] about the Gulf coast.]

 There is no federal legislation that requires BP’s Clean Water Act fines return to the Gulf coast where they belong.  The Clean Water Act fines could mean a more complete restoration for our ecosystem and our communities. But only if they go back to the Gulf coast, where the disaster took place.

 Please urge your Congressional delegation to ensure that no less than 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines return to the Gulf coast for ecological restoration.

 An unexpected disaster can happen in any community, and when it does we must stand united to restoring impacted communities.

 Take action right now to stand by the people of the Gulf coast.

 Thank you,

 [Your name] and contact information and signature, if applicable


Sample Letter to Congress

 Your name, address, and date

Dear [insert legislator’s name],

 On April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon well exploded 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven men lost their lives that day. On April 22, the rig sank into the Gulf of Mexico. Oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico from the well-head until July 18. During these 87 days, it is estimated that 250 million gallons of oil was released into our environment.

 The amount of crude oil released and toxic dispersants applied to the Gulf is unprecedented. We have no idea what this toxic cocktail has done or will continue to do to our nation’s largest seafood source, our bodies or the environment.

 [Insert your organization’s mission and any possible link to the restoration and recovery of the Gulf coast. For example, the use of toxic dispersants effect all our communities in the form of seafood safety, the issues surrounding the non-disclosure of chemical ingredients and their unknown health impacts, etc.]

 I am writing to urge you to support that all Clean Water Act penalties resulting from the BP oil disaster be returned to the Gulf coast for fair, equitable and appropriate restoration. The oil is not gone and Gulf coast communities have not been made whole again. The media has largely left and the national spotlight has moved on to other stories, but the Gulf coast still needs your help.

 I may not live on the Gulf coast, but [ and] I continue to stand with my fellow Americans who are on the frontlines of this continuing public health and environmental disaster. They need our help and you must ensure that at least 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties return to the region for ecosystem restoration.

 Thank you for your time,

 [Your name] including signature, if applicable


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