Friday, May 07, 2010

Waterkeepers respond to Deepwater Horizon Spill

See this e-mail from my old friend, mentor, and colleague Andy Willner on the Waterkeepers' response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

FYI- From Andy Willner:

This Waterkeeper Alliance Committee has been operating since Sunday getting information to the Gulf of Mexico Waterkeepers and to Marc Yaggi who is in the Gulf and acting as a liaison between the Committee and the Gulf Waterkeepers. Marc has also been feeding us information to process directly from the Gulf Waterkeepers. We are taking advantage of the (unfortunately significant) collective oil spill experience of both present and former Waterkeepers.

As of today, Waterkeepers are now represented in all of the Incident Command Centers in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, not without some bumps in the road that I am sure you will hear about over the next several weeks and at the Conference. And NOAA, EPA, and the Coast Guard are consulting with the Waterkeepers regularly.

This disaster has just begun and with unknown but massive and deadly consequences. We should all be proud of our sisters and brothers in the Gulf who did what motivates us all. They saw an insurmountable problem affecting the people and natural resources of their waterbody and region and immediately, while continuing to do everything else, mobilized significant capacity to respond the this unprecedented catastrophe.

The most significant, and detailed, and professional news stories are coming directlyfrom the Gulf Waterkeepers. We have reason to be proud of our movement, and collectively have to look beyond the deadly consequences of BP's negligence -- and give what support we can to the Waterkeepers in the Gulf.

Let your followers know through every available media, what an heroic effort is happenning in the Gulf in the face of this unprecedented man made disaster. Please use this announcement as a press release, a facebook post, or an email to supporters or in anyway that you think useful.

Also send people to Thanks. Andy

Waterkeeper Alliance forms advisory committee…

In response to the ever-growing national implications of the April 20th BP Gulf oil disaster, Waterkeeper Alliance has convened a new committee comprised of veteran Waterkeepers all of whom have direct experience with catastrophic oil spills. The goals of this ad-hoc committee are primarily to support the Gulf Coast Waterkeepers in their immediate response to this event, and also to provide information, guidance, and communications support to the affected Waterkeepers and their communities.

The Committee is chaired by
NY/NJ Baykeeper Emeritus Andy Willner, and includes Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne, Cook Inletkeeper Bob Shavelson, Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, Narragansett Baykeeper John Torgan, Prince William Soundkeeper Jennifer Gibbons, San Francisco Baykeeper Deb Self, and San Francisco Baykeeper Emeritus Mike Herz. Combined, these Waterkeepers have more than a century of oil spill experience.

"We're all affected by this spill – responding to it must be a national priority," said Chair Andy Willner. "We're pulling together some of the most knowledgeable people in the world on oil spills to make sure we give this our very best effort."

Among the issues the committee is tackling are public access to Incident Command and information, volunteer management, training, and getting legal and technical guidance and support to the people who need it. The group has been conferencing daily, and will continue to meet as needed throughout the crisis.

-- Andrew Willner
WATERKEEPER® Alliance North Atlantic Regional Representative

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