PDX 2 Gulf Coast http://pdx2gulfcoast.com Oregonians Supporting their Gulf Coast Neighbors Wed, 16 Nov 2011 15:22:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Triennial International Oil Spill Conference: The Worldwide Oil Industry Response to the BP Oil Spill http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/triennial-international-oil-spill-conference-the-worldwide-oil-industry-response-to-the-bp-oil-spill/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/triennial-international-oil-spill-conference-the-worldwide-oil-industry-response-to-the-bp-oil-spill/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 05:04:08 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1419

Last April Mike Rosen, organizer of the PDX 2 Gulf Coast project, attended the 21st Triennial International Oil Spill Conference 2011 in Portland Oregon.  Here is what he observed.

Anyone who is still skeptical that the 200 million gallons of oil carelessly released into the Gulf of Mexico during spring/summer of 2010 has magically disappeared and left one of the world’s most productive fisheries unscathed, would have wanted to attend the world’s foremost conference “on the ‘science’ of oil spill response,” in Portland in April.  Beginning the fifth decade of discussion among the world’s leading scientists, government regulators and the oil industry’s highest paid cheerleaders, the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) 2011 seemed to be the place to discover whatever lasting truths and new thinking resulted from the largest oil spill in US history.

Just after the leak was stopped I spent 10 days on the Gulf Coast with a team of 22 Portlanders seeking to acquire first hand knowledge of the impacts of the BP oil spill.  Needless to say we left with a lot of unanswered questions.  Given that, I was very interested to see what thousands of participants from dozens of countries, and 4 days of workshops and scientific seminars, could tell me about where things stand in the Gulf.  In particular I was searching for answers to the questions:

1.  Were the methods used to respond to the spill effective, understood, and safe?

2.  What were the primary “lessons learned” from this catastrophe?

Let’s start with the latter.

Every one of the lead conference speakers insisted that during the catastrophe the press and the public information demands were overwhelming, the public was not adequately educated in the science and practice of oil spill response, and that without immediate, understandable and credible information, the public concluded the worst.  And, these speakers were the “heavy hitters”, the ones who lead us into battle against a spill of previously unimaginable size — Adm. Thad Allen, US Coast Guard Retired (National Incident Commander for the spill), Juliette Kayyem, Obama’s former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security (responsible for coordination and planning during the spill), Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and, Dr. Larry Robinson, Assistant Secretary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As Kayyem noted, there was an insatiable appetite for information with everyone asking questions and no one coordinating the answers. That said, you’d think the conference program committee, which included representatives of each federal bureau that responded to the spill, would welcome public inquiry and even extensive press participation at the IOSC.  Clearly this was a unique opportunity to begin the oil spill education process called for by so many.  Unfortunately the opportunity was squandered.

While the conference program committee included government representatives, the American Petroleum Institute (API) ran the conference and two days before it began, Eric Wohlschlegel, API’s press officer, informed me that attendance to all conference panels and workshops had to be pre-approved.  Wolhschlegel maintained that “some sessions” were closed to the press to ensure “an open exchange of ideas among conference attendees.”  Over 4 days, 114 technical presentations and 9 half-day science workshops were held.  I requested to attend 12 seminars and one half-day workshop and I was barred from every one.  Later, and minutes before the conference started, I was told that if I paid $800, on the spot, I would be able to attend any and all sessions.  As a result, I attended the opening and closing sessions, a short presentation of poster summaries of research (over 100 in all), and “wandered” into one technical presentation.

Even with severely limited access there was information that could be gathered regarding the use of chemical dispersants.   An unprecedented 2 million gallons of Corexit was used at the ocean’s surface and a mile below, to protect Gulf beaches and marshes from the 200 million gallons of oil released.  So, was the primary method used to combat the oil effective, understood and safe?  Admiral Allen told us, “I would not change one decision I made regarding dispersants.”  That may make sense because regulatory and oil industry leaders consistently asserted that as a result of this strategy a mere fraction of the oil released reached shore.  But what is the fate of and impact from the hundred million gallons of oil/Corexit mixture spread throughout the ocean?

Consider that the President’s Oil Spill Commission concluded in their October 2011 report that the government, “was not prepared for the use of dispersants” because federal agencies did not possess the scientific information needed to guide their choices.  When I questioned Charlie Henry, NOAA’s lead, on-scene scientist in charge of the Gulf spill response, I was assured the use of Corexit was safe and scientifically justified.  After all, recent studies in Norway showed how dispersants reacted with oil in deep water environments, and even if residual oil and dispersant cocktail remained at great depths, Henry maintained that there is no life down there anyway.  I admit to feeling somewhat assured, but only until I spoke with Eileen Graham, a biologist who works for Applied Science Associates, Inc.  ASA presented a poster on their study of the movement of dispersed oil in the deep ocean environment.  Eileen and her colleague maintained that only one test was performed in Norway (11 years ago) and it was not conclusive.  Further, they asserted that there is life in the deep ocean that very likely came in contact with the dispersant/oil mixture.  ASA is even studying the biological activity in the Gulf from the surface to the ocean floor because their client is preparing to sue BP for environmental damages under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment rules of the 1990 Oil Prevention Act.  And, ASA’s client is NOAA.

Later in the conference, Dr. Kenneth Lee, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, presented the paper, “Toxicity Effects of Chemically-Dispersed Crude Oil on Fish.”  Dr. Lee has undertaken extensive study of the impacts to fish when dispersants are applied to surface oil releases.  Dr. Lee’s work is preliminary but shows some toxicity to fish.  When I asked how this research could apply to the deepwater application of Corexit in the Gulf, Dr. Lee replied that further study was needed on species inhabiting the areas of the ocean impacted by the release and monitoring needs to occur during a spill.

So where should government and industry go from here?  Well, instead of incessantly bemoaning their common belief that they are the victims of the public’s ignorance and the press’s misrepresentation, they ought to use major events like the IOSC to share rather than hoard their knowledge.  And, the government at all levels of involvement, needs to own up to the uncertainty of the decisions it made (or let BP make) in response to the spill and aggressively demand research that closes gaps in information.  Most people understand that in emergencies, making the best decisions you can in the little time that you have is unsettling but necessary.  But what I, and others, reject is the notion that not learning how respond more safely when catastrophe strikes again is acceptable.

An edited version of this article appeared as an opinion piece in the “My Turn” section of the April 2011 Portland Tribune


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The Top 10 Articles You Didn’t See: November 2011 http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/the-top-10-articles-you-didnt-see-november-2011/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/the-top-10-articles-you-didnt-see-november-2011/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 05:00:38 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1416

The Gulf Coast may not be gracing the headlines, but there’s plenty of things happening in the area that continues to feel the severe ramifications of last year’s spill. This month we’re highlighting some of the news articles that didn’t make headlines, keeping you up to date on what’s taking place in the Gulf and bringing awareness to the plethora of issues still at hand in the area.  Dr. Ed Cake, retired Mississippi State University Ecology Professor and environmental activist compiles relevant articles on a daily basis and passes them on to us.

Evidence shows Gulf oil spill caused widespread ecological damage

Corexit Makers May Be Liable for Use at Oil Spill

Researchers: BP oil spill may have contributed to Gulf of Mexico dolphin deaths

Real trouble could be ahead for Gulf fish, wildlife, researcher warns

LSU confirms oil from BP well; feds collect samples

Dispersants Used in BP Gulf Oil Spill Linked to Cancer

Dolphins near Grand Isle being tested for BP oil exposure

The BP Spill One Year Later: Renewing Trust Along With Ecology

Image: The Advocate

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A New Way to Track the Presence of Toxic Oil Contaminants in Sensitive Ecosystems http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/a-new-way-to-track-the-presence-of-toxic-oil-contaminants-in-sensitive-ecosystems/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/a-new-way-to-track-the-presence-of-toxic-oil-contaminants-in-sensitive-ecosystems/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 04:51:23 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1413

Research by Leslie Slasor at Oregon Health Sciences University

Hydrocarbon pollution has been, and will continue to be, a problem in marine environments.   Extraction, transportation and consumption of petroleum products[1] are the main forms of hydrocarbon pollution.  The recent tragedy of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill emphasized a need for better, more precise instrumentation designed to track crude oil plumes in the water column (from surface to sea floor).  Where previous oil spills were relatively easy to locate and sample (Exxon Valdez and Prestige oil spills, for example) occurring on or near surface waters and beaches, the Gulf spill was the first to occur at depths of over 3,000 feet.  The underwater oil plumes that formed created unique problems that require unique solutions.  OHSU,[2] WETLabs,[3] and USF[4] came together in a collaborative effort to improve in situ[5] instrumentation detection and tracking of certain toxic components of crude oil[6]: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)[7].  Understanding the fate of a pollutant like crude oil (where it ends up, how it gets there and how it breaks down) will help improve our response and clean-up efforts as well as predict future impacts to our complex and delicate marine ecosystems.

In situ fluorometers were used to detect crude oil plumes[8] in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  However, there is potential to increase the specificity of these instruments enabling scientists to track potentially harmful components of crude oil.  PAHs are toxic, several being listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPAs) List of Priority Pollutants.[9] They are also fluorophores (molecules that fluoresce).  This means they are able to absorb light energy and then re-emit that light energy at wavelengths specific to the compound or group of compounds, giving each a unique signature or fingerprint.  The fluorescent properties of PAHs make fluorescence spectroscopy an ideal form of detection.  Our lab at OHSU uses a benchtop spectrofluorometer to detect the fingerprints of PAHs that have dissolved or naturally dispersed (not using any special chemicals) in artificial seawater.  The resulting fingerprints represent the unique composition and relative concentration of PAHs in the oil samples.

Crude oil undergoes a multifaceted weathering process in the natural environment, including evaporation, dissolution/dispersion, photodegradation and biodegradation.  Our study focuses on the dissolved/dispersed portion of crude oil in seawater, and the effects of photo- and biodegradation on fluorescent properties of PAHs.  Determining relative degradation rates will give us a better understanding of the persistence of these toxins.  This study will also aid in identifying fluorescence signatures specific to PAHs for in situ instrumentation to selectively target.  Fluorometers that can track long-range transport of persistent crude oil contaminants in the water column will be a key addition to the tools that scientists use for oil spill response and recovery.

PAH pollution could have serious negative impacts on food sources, including fish and other seafood.[10],[11]  Advancements in instrumentation will create more effective, less expensive ways to identify and track these hazardous contaminants.  This study is aiding in the improvement of in situ instrument development, allowing for more precise and accurate detection and tracking of subsurface hydrocarbon pollution in marine environments.  These improvements can and will be applied in the Gulf as well as other aquatic environments affected by crude oil and/or PAHs, aiding us in determining the potential impact of PAH contamination and its effect on human health.  Our complex and fragile oceans need to be monitored in order to truly assess our impact and bolster our response efforts.

Leslie Slasor received her B.S. in Chemistry from Eastern Kentucky University, where she studied Forensic Chemistry and contributed to Organic Chemistry and Computational Biochemistry research.  She is currently working on a M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering at Oregon Health and Sciences University, and her masters thesis research involves the spectral fluorescence study of crude oil in seawater.  Her research interests include human influence on water quality, contaminant transport and remediation in aquatic systems.  

[2] http://www.stccmop.org/news/multimedia/images/oil_and_water_mix

[3] http://www.wetlabs.com

[4] http://www.marine.usf.edu/faculty/paula-coble.shtml

[5] In situ literally means “in position.” In this case we are using the term in situ to indicate that these instruments can be placed directly in the ocean (or other aquatic environments) as opposed to those used in a laboratory with samples of seawater.

[6] http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/oil-refining1.htm

[7] http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/polycycl.html

[8] http://www.wetlabs.com/cdomincrude.htm

[10] http://www.epa.gov/R5Super/ecology/html/toxprofiles.htm

[11] http://www.fda.gov/food/ucm210970.htm

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“Oil and Water” Arrives This Month! http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/oil-and-water-arrives-this-month/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/oil-and-water-arrives-this-month/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 04:42:12 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1407

Oil and Water is finally here and is available for purchase on line now and in bookstores by Thanksgiving! This graphic novel by author and Oregonian columnist Steve Duin and artist Shannon Wheeler is a partly fictionalized account of the PDX 2 Gulf Coast trip. Duin describes the graphic novel as a “hybrid” which introduces readers to real people in the gulf with quotes straight from his notebooks. However, elements in the narrative involving the group members are fictionalized. This is combined with Wheeler’s art and a powerful introduction by noted environmental activist and founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben. In addition, Duin intersperses throughout the book his own essay commentaries on the social, environmental and economic impacts of the spill. Here’s a description of the book by Steve Duin:

“When ten Oregonians travel to the Gulf Coast in August 2010 to plumb the devastation wrought by the Deepwater Horizon spill, they discover that “Oil and Water” is just the first of the insoluble contradictions. Between the tarred sands of Grand Isle and the fouled waters of the Louisiana bayou, they come to find out that Gulf Coast residents are economically dependent upon the very industry that is wreaking havoc on their environment. In the shadow of the greatest ecological disaster of our time, they are forced to reassess their roles as witness, critic and environmental steward.”

Here’s a recent review by the School Library Journal and a Comic Book Resources interview with the author, artist and editor.  For a more detailed look at Oil and Water visit the website of Fantagraphics Books.

In the interest of shining a bright and sustained light on the ongoing impacts of the BP oil spill, we hope you’ll find this portrayal of the disaster both compelling and thought provoking.

And, if you’d like an up close and personal look at Oil and Water we have 3 Portland book events happening starting this week and running through November.



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PDX 2 Gulf Coast Documentary and Curriculum Use http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/pdx-2-gulf-coast-documentary-and-curriculum-use/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/11/pdx-2-gulf-coast-documentary-and-curriculum-use/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 04:36:44 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1403

Through the hard work of the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) and generous grants from the Juan Young Trust and the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District both our documentary, “Beyond the Spill” and our curriculum, “Just Below Surface:  Perspectives on the Gulf Coast Oil Spill” have been distributed to over 20 Portland area high schools and 1 in Clark and Benton counties.  Three Portland colleges and universities have obtained copies as well.  Several high schools have already used the curriculum and so has Portland State University.  In addition, NWEI has also distributed the curriculum to the Intel Corporation for use with their employees interested in sustainability issues. And in early October, at the Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference, Steve Duin and I presented a workshop on use of the curriculum, documentary and “Oil and Water” by community groups and high schools interested in further inquiry and action.

On it’s own, “Beyond the Spill” is beginning to travel throughout the Northwest and hopefully the US for screenings.  John Waller (Uncage the Soul Productions), the documentary filmmaker who created “Beyond the Spill,” has entered it in numerous environmental film festivals.  The film has been shown several times in Portland (including at Wordstock) and has already been shown at the Salem Film Festival 2011 and the Eugene International Film Festival 2011.  In Eugene the documentary won the award for “Most Socially Engaging Feature.”  The more “Beyond the Spill” is picked up by film festivals, the more it will be distributed and shown.

“Just Below the Surface” and “Beyond the Spill” are two important and effective tools that PDX 2 Gulf Coast has created to encourage continued conversation about the short- and long-term impacts of the BP oil spill and, how our daily decisions can prevent a catastrophe of this magnitude from occurring again.  If you, your community group or school would like to continue the conversation you can purchase “Beyond the Spill” online and/or purchase “Just Below the Surface” through the Northwest Earth Institute.

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One Year Later: Anniversary Reflections on the Gulf http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/04/one-year-later-anniversary-reflections-on-the-gulf/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/04/one-year-later-anniversary-reflections-on-the-gulf/#comments Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:50:11 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1360

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We asked some of the PDX 2 Gulf Coast participants what they were thinking, feeling and doing.

Anna Berardi, Founding Director of the Trauma Response Institute at George Fox University – Portland:

One year out from the Gulf disaster, the Trauma Response Institute is now active with response projects related to the 3/11/11 triple disaster in Japan (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear fall out). The parallels never cease to amaze me: How we organize ourselves into self-sustaining communities matters! It impacts our economic, social, and physical well being.

Vulnerable populations along the Gulf Coast continue to suffer, from the safety of the food they eat to how they earn a livable wage. And voices of power and privilege continue to deny the truth of their experience and the legitimacy of their need. I’m not sure we realize that we are as vulnerable as the people along the Gulf. The experience of the Japanese, one of the most advanced nations in disaster preparedness, is perhaps the best mirror predicting our vulnerabilities. Commitment to sustainable living- from our energy sources, to food production, to the way we live in community with one another – needs to be in the forefront of our minds.

This past year, what has taken root in me is a renewed commitment to draw awareness to the urgency of shifting our collective mindset from one of personal, individual survival (what is good for me and my kin) to a broadening awareness of care for the entire living system of which we are a part. If we truly care about our families, the dead dolphins in the Gulf and the displaced families in the Japanese nuclear fall out zone will matter to us as well. In my line of work, I am privileged to observe how care is the wellspring for deep and lasting (life-giving, sustainable) change. It nurtures creativity, it inspires action, and increases tolerance for the discomfort experienced along the way. Every day I see signs that we are capable of this type of paradigm shift.

The DeepWater Horizon blowout anniversary is a time to pause and remind myself to not become complacent regarding my life commitments. The political unrest of overstressed African nations, the ongoing war in the mid-east, the health threats looming over the nation of Japan, and the devastation silently lingering in the Gulf are keeping me wide awake and alert. How about you?

John Waller, Uncage the Soul Video Production:

I think many of our original fears that this event will be forgotten, that similar practices of deepwater oil exploration and drilling will continue, and that reckless habits of consumption will endure, have been confirmed. Does that make me pessimistic about our opportunity to learn and change from this? Perhaps. But I have noticed within myself an awareness about my own personal consumption of petroleum based products and have taken steps to reduce my footprint. And I guess that is where change starts… it starts with me.

Mike Houck, Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute:

All of my follow up activity post trip has focused on doing my part to make the Portland-Vancouver region a great place to live and ensuring we integrate nature into the city so everyone has access to nature where they live, work, and go to school. Both Bob Sallinger [fellow PDX 2 Gulf Coast team member] and I have been actively involved in The Intertwine Alliance which is a coalition of NGOs, businesses like Keen, and government agencies like Metro, Portland Parks, Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, National Park Service and U S Fish and Wildlife. Our aim is to continue building The Intertwine, a world class, interconnected system of parks, trails, natural areas and healthy watersheds on both sides of the Columbia River.

Many of our projects relate directly to PDX 2 Gulf Coast’s interest in getting us out of our cars and off oil. Our goal is to create a city and region that is livable and lovable. By expanding the regional trail network and protecting and restoring natural areas you don’t have to get into a car to experience nature or have a fabulous experience walking, running or cycling with nature nearby.  We’re working with the city to export its Climate Action Plan to the region. We need to both reduce greenhouse emissions and build more resilience into our natural systems to prepare or adapt to climate change that we know will adversely impact both human and natural systems.

Bob and I are also working hard on getting a book out that let’s people know where they can go kayaking, cycling or hiking around the region. “Wild in the City, Exploring The Intertwine” will be out next fall.  It is the second edition of our “2000 Wild in the City, A Guide to Portland’s Natural Areas.” As you can tell by the title, we’re expanding beyond describing parks and including examples of how the city and region is better integrating the build and natural environments. Mike Rosen’s agency, Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services, has been a great partner and Mike and many of his staff has submitted some great contributions to the book. Again, the purpose of the book is to encourage people to appreciate nature nearby, become good stewards, and reduce their carbon footprint by walking, cycling, kayaking to parks and natural areas near where they live.  This will reduce reliance on the car and help protect biodiversity in the heart of the city.

Sarah Menzies, Director at Red Reel Video:

In terms of the Gulf oil spill, I have spent the last year wrapping my mind around my personal responsibility for the disaster.  I am a consumer, so therefore I am responsible.  I spent the early months after the spill taking stock of the oil that fuels my life.  It is sewn into the fabrics of my clothing, it produces the food that I buy, it’s in my phone, camera, computer… it’s even in the bike that I choose to drive over my car.  The more I thought about, the more paralyzed I became by how overwhelmed it was all making me feel.

A year later and I still feel responsible.  Yes, as a consumer I feel responsible, but it has morphed into responsibility to work toward preventing this sort of thing from happening again.  But we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves.  Gaining traction requires education, conversation, and personal behavior change.  Take public transportation, ride your bike, grow your own food, limit single use consumption, reuse what you’ve got, buy second hand, engage your politicians, talk to your friends and co-workers, and most importantly – become passionate!  This excites me!  Being part of the system means I can change it, and this feels a little less overwhelming.

Mike Rosen, Manager, Bureau of Environmental Services Watershed Division:

I worry that this is the one day, maybe the only day for a good long time, that we will reflect on this tragedy. One day is not enough to consider the lingering and future impacts. People out of work, oyster beds destroyed, mysterious deaths among dolphins, red snapper lesions, a very slow start to the tourist season, tar mats and the revival of deepwater drilling.

I want to make sure we get the word out about what happened and what needs to be done. For me that means looking for every opportunity to distribute our curriculum, show our documentary and complete our book. We need to initiate conversation, discussion and introspection. We need to catalyze action.

This will only be a turning point if we, as a nation, commit to change and demand information. Why are we restarting deep water drilling in the Gulf?  Do we know that effective and available response plans have been created and can be implemented?  Are we asking tough questions about how to track and remedy environmental impacts?  Are we inspired to consume less and thus reduce the demand for oil?

Moving forward, we continue to make connections between consumption and environmental risk. We achieve and promote a level of mindfulness that requires us to connect our actions with real environmental consequences. To me that means accepting that every mile driven unnecessarily and every plastic product used when a less toxic substitute is available creates the demand for oil and the pressure to extract it through dangerous and irresponsible practices.

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Gulf Spill Anniversary: PDX 2 Gulf Coast and Gulfsongs Oregon Join for Benefit Event on April 20, 2011 http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/04/gulf-spill-anniversary-pdx-2-gulf-coast-and-gulfsongs-oregon-join-for-benefit-event-on-april-20-2011/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/04/gulf-spill-anniversary-pdx-2-gulf-coast-and-gulfsongs-oregon-join-for-benefit-event-on-april-20-2011/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:06:02 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1355

In commemoration of the anniversary of the biggest single environmental disaster in US history, the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we’re partnering with Gulfsongs Oregon to present a concert and the premiere of the short documentary film, Beyond the Spill at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Wednesday, April 20th. There will also be an update on the current state of economic recovery, coastal wetlands clean-up and restoration efforts, and what we in the Northwest can do to help.

Beyond the Spill presents a devastated environment and economy and the personal choices that drove us head-on into this catastrophe.  What can we as individuals learn from the largest and most preventable oil spill in US history?  By accepting responsibility, by seeking ways to more quickly transition to clean energy, can we move beyond the spill?

Beyond the Spill Trailer from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

In addition to the film, New Orleans native and Portland musical treasure,  Reggie Houston, will lead four of Portland’s most notable piano players on a journey through Gulf Coast music that traces the evolution of New Orleans and Louisiana piano styles.  Janice ScrogginsDK StewartAndrew Oliver, and Steve Kerin will tickle our ears, move our feet, and show us why so many of our musical roads lead back to this culturally essential and environmentally vital region of the country.

Proceeds from this show will go to benefit our education outreach in the Northwest and around the country, and to support wetlands restoration and economic recovery in south Louisiana.

Join us for an evening to inspire us on our journey beyond the spill.

Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased online or at the box office of the Alberta Rose Theatre.

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Save the Date: April 20 Beyond The Spill Premiere + A Night of Music http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/03/save-the-date-april-20-beyond-the-spill-premiere-a-night-of-music/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/03/save-the-date-april-20-beyond-the-spill-premiere-a-night-of-music/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 20:19:17 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1343

WHAT: PDX 2 Gulf Coast teams up with Gulfsongs to premiere Beyond the Spill with an evening of music. New Orleans native, musician, and music educator Reggie Houston will lead four of Portland’s superb piano players through a program tracing the evolution of New Orleans and Louisiana piano styles.

With Reggie providing the musical history and context, Janice Scroggins, DK Stewart, Andrew Oliver, and Steve Kerin will play the music that has influenced and shaped over a century of American popular music. Hear why so many of our musical roads lead back to this culturally vital area of the country.

WHERE: Alberta Rose Theatre

WHEN: April 20, 2011, 7 p.m.


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Oil and Water: Book Preview http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/03/oil-and-water-book-preview/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/03/oil-and-water-book-preview/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 19:21:21 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1301

With the help of New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler and Oregonian columnist Steve Duin, we’ve been working hard on our book, Oil and Water, a book-length comic that is a fictional account of the experiences of the PDX to Gulf Coast team as they traveled from New Orleans, LA to Mobile, AL to witness, firsthand, the impacts of the BP oil spill.

Oil and Water is scheduled to be published by Fantagraphics Books in September. We’ll be previewing a selection of the book at WonderCon and Stumptown Comics Fest in April.

Since we’re so excited about the book, we decided to release a preview of one of the sections for you to check out.

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The Top 10 Articles You Didn’t See: March 2011 http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/03/the-top-10-articles-you-didnt-see-march-2011/ http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/2011/03/the-top-10-articles-you-didnt-see-march-2011/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:56:01 +0000 Anna Brones http://pdx2gulfcoast.com/?p=1286

Photo Mike Houck

The Gulf Coast may not be gracing the headlines, but there’s plenty of things happening in the area that continues to feel the severe ramifications of last year’s spills. Every month we’ll be highlighting some of the news articles that didn’t make headlines, keeping you up to date on what’s taking place in the Gulf and bringing awareness to the plethora of issues still at hand in the area.

1. Louisiana to spend $12 million on wetlands, oyster beds, and send BP the bill

By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune

2. Commentary: BP is back in Gulf

By Loren Steffy, The San Antonio Express News

3. Up to 40% of Gulf Oil Spill Was Potent Methane Gas, Research Shows

The findings underscore how little is understood about the behavior of gases in oceans, as countries launch the first gas-hydrate drilling programs

By Lisa Song, SolveClimate News

4. ‘Red flag’ in oil-spill health study

By Nikki Buskey, The Daily Comet

5. Gulf restoration Task Force says plan will address both BP oil spill effects and existing environmental problems

By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune

6. Are Recent Baby Dolphin Deaths Caused by the Oil Spill?

By Laura Goldman, Change.Org

7. In Devastating Complaint, Louisiana Demands $1 Million a Day from BP and Others

By Sabrina Canfield, Courthouse News

8. BP tackling tar mats off coast

County officials: Cleanup effort too little, too late

By Kimberly Blair, The Pensacola News Journal

9. Gulf of Mexico is a treasure to protect

By Frances Beinecke, Contributing Op-Ed Columnist, The Times-Picayune

10. Cause of dolphin deaths remains unknown

By Nikki Buskey, The Daily Comet

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