In my latest post over on No Unsacred Place, I share the heart-wrenching story of one of the lesser known consequences of mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachian mountains: the destruction of centuries-old family cemeteries that have been part of the landscape and the small communities of Appalachia for generations: "Many of the small communities scattered throughout Appalachia, where mountaintop-removal mining has done so much damage already, face the destruction of cemeteries that have been part of the wooded wilderness for centuries, left to become overgrown and sometimes forgotten as younger generations leave the area. These grave sites might not be officially registered or marked on any map, leaving them vulnerable to destruction from mining companies that buy up property and indiscriminately strip the landscape bare in an effort to reach the valuable coal deposits underneath. What minimal laws there are protecting cemeteries only apply to registered sites marked off by a fence and regularly maintained by a caretaker, and the historical value of family cemeteries can be difficult to prove, especially in cases where graves are unmarked or headstones have fallen into disrepair. ..."
In 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, ..."