Gulf Coast Recovery Issue Update: The Flood Waters Have Finally Receded… Or Have They?

Another disaster and another media hit and run in Louisiana. Just when are they going to catch a break? I am not sure about any of you but the last time I saw a headline about the Mississippi river flooding in the coastal states was almost the last time I wrote you! Anyways, here’s the break down about, well, the breakdown in the Gulf Coast states.

  • According to the ever-reliable Army Corps of Engineers,  worst of the flooding in Louisiana is over. That may be so, but it gives no mention to the towns and people devastated by opened “spillways”: the Corp’s way of fixing the problem in order to spare major metropolitan areas. It was the first time in 38 years that this has been done. This video offers some shocking insight into current U.S. flood protection and how the precious bayous of Louisiana are designed to take of the brunt of it.
  • The Mississippi river floods are on track to cause even more woes for Gulf Coast residents. This year’s flooding is expected to cause one of the largest dead zones on record. A dead zone is an area of water where no life can exist, and this one is expected to be large enough to cover New Jersey and Delaware combined! Dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico have often been attributed to increased levels of nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fertilizer and animal manure. The levels of these pollutants are expected to spike with the increased runoff from farm lands. Yet another example of the delicate line between human consumption and ecological preservation.
  • In a surprise move, one oil company blames another for the Gulf oil spill. Transocean, the entity that owned the blasted rig, released a report finding that BP should be held responsible entirely for the disaster. This comes following BP’s report, press campaigns and lawsuit against Transocean. Will the finger pointing ever end?
  • I’d like to give a shout out to HeadCount’s friends at the Gulf Restoration Network, who have teamed up with the environmental (and musical) non-profit Reverb for the Brett Dennen Loverboy Tour. On the tour, volunteers all over the country told people about the importance of carbon reduction, the need for more clean water, and of course MORE HELP for the Gulf of Mexico! GRN also does neat stuff like educating the folks at Bonnaroo about their work and keeping the world abreast of breaking news like the appearance of a new oil sheen seen off the Louisiana coast.
  • In other NOLA related news, longtime crescent city band The Radiators played one of their final gigs, a benefit concert for HeadCount at the Brooklyn Bowl on June 1st. Between the delicious fried chicken and great live music it felt like a real New Orleans party! Following the benefit concert the Radz played their final three shows at the legendary rock sanctuary Tipitina’s to a very emotional crowd. The band has been a staple on the New Orleans music scene since the late 70’s and will be missed.

Whether you are located in the Gulf or elsewhere, remember there are things you can do to draw awareness in the Gulf. Look for volunteer opportunities, organize your own Hands Across the Sand, or simply share your own comments or opinions about the Gulf Coast happenings.