writer + artist

Experiencing the Gulf Coast Firsthand

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A couple of months ago I got invited to take part in a project with a group of Oregonians all traveling down to the Gulf Coast to bear witness to the oil spill and work with groups on the ground to create a better understanding of what the true impacts of the environmental disaster really are. I said yes.

It’s officially day 2, and I’ve already had the chance to go to a community meeting in Ocean Springs to listen to community members voice their opinions on what a longterm restoration plan should look like. Walking in to a room packed with Gulf Coast residents I felt a little out of place. What would I bring to the table by being here? What does a Portlander have to give a community that’s been so severely affected?

But it’s all about listening and hearing the real stories that these people are telling. We’re all on media overload from images of oil slicked birds and messy waves. But we have to keep listening. We have to keep listening to the fishermen that are telling us that there waters were opened up too soon and that they’re afraid of the longterm harm that eating the seafood might cause. We have to listen to the mental health specialists that emphasize that this environmental catastrophe is having a serious psychological effect. We have to listen to the clean energy advocates that are pushing for renewables in this region and coming up against political obstacles.

We’ll be covering the next 10 days over on www.pdx2gulfcoast.com. Check it out and engage in the conversation, because it’s one we need to create and sustain.

Written by Anna Brones

August 8, 2010 at 10:34

One Response

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  1. What an amazing experience! I’m enjoying following the updates 🙂


    August 8, 2010 at 21:39

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