One Year After Deepwater Horizon » No Unsacred Place

Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico, April 2010In my latest post over at No Unsacred Place, I take a look back at the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill that occurred last April, one year ago tomorrow, to asses long-term damage and on-going clean-up efforts in the area. Though no longer making headlines, clean-up and restoration in the Gulf continues to be slow going, with harmful and unpredictable consequences effecting wildlife in the area for decades to come:

Of the nearly 5 million barrels of oil and 9 million liters of chemical dispersants released by BP into the Gulf of Mexico last year, approximately 25% remains unaccounted for, with another 50% forming surface slicks, sinking to the seafloor, washing up on beaches or “dissolving” in the last twelve months.

Scientists report that clean-up and a full assessment of the damages may take another 40 years or more: “[O]il and dispersants are toxic to both shallow and deep ecosystems, according to Larry McKinney […], who predicts the spill’s effects will last for decades.”

I also offer a personal retrospective on the anniversary of the tragedy, challenging our attitudes towards nature and our response as a culture and community towards natural disasters versus man-made disasters with dire environmental consequences.

Do we engage in the difficult, daily work of establishing the cultural infrastructures and social organizations necessary to respond to environmental crises with swiftness and efficacy? Do we act on and live out our love for the earth that creates and sustains us through advocacy and engagement?

You can read the full article here.

Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.