Photo credit: NRDC Pix/Flickr
Today marks the eighth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 people and injuring 17 others. Two days later - on Earth Day - the rig, which was still engulfed in flames, collapsed into the ocean, sinking thousands of feet to the seafloor. For the next 87 days oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico as BP and the U.S. federal government struggled to prevent this from becoming the worst environmental disaster since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil catastrophe.
Ultimately, over 200 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico and 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersant were pumped onto and into the Gulf to dilute the oil, making it the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Moving forward, it is important to remember these details, as time can blur the lessons learned from our past and leave us vulnerable repeating our mistakes. It is apparent that the new administration did not learn that offshore oil and gas exploration is inherently dangerous from this tragedy -- and that where we drill, we spill.
The American Littoral Society will celebrate Earth Day, with a dune grass planting on Saturday, April 21, and two beach clean ups on Sunday, April 22.
The dune grass planting will take place a day ahead of Earth Day and is the culmination of our Beach Grasses in Classes program. Everyone is invited to help plant American beach grass on Sandy Hook dunes from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. The planting will take place near Lot B. The location is subject to change due to the possible chance of nesting migratory shorebirds.
If possible, please bring a stick or shovel to help with planting. Event will be held rain or shine. Dress for the weather.
Click here for more information or the American Littoral Society at 732-291-0055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, on Sunday, April 22, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., the Society will host clean-ups on beaches along Delaware and Jamaica bays.
Littoral Society Education Director Nicole Haines began the interactive program by speaking to students about the importance of dunes in helping to reduce the effects of coastal storms, such as flooding and beach erosion, as well as how beach grasses help build and preserve dunes.
Each student was then given the chance to plant a culm or dormant stalk of beachgrass in a pot filled with a mixture of peatmoss and sand. On Saturday, April 21, students will transplant that grass at a beach restoration site on Sandy Hook. The Earth Day weekend grass planting event will be open to the public and take place from 10 a.m. to Noon near Lot B in Gateway National Recreation Area's Sandy Hook Unit. Click here for more information.
Check the Littoral Society calendar for more Earth Day-related events.