My dad used to work at one of the chemical plants in the Point Comfort/Port Lavaca area in Texas, about a two and a half hour drive southwest from Houston. The plant produces plastics and PVC pellets which are used to make anything from sandwich bags to molded products. My father was a waste-water operator. They repeatedly had him send contaminated water out into our bays.  Many of these contaminants are cancer causing agents.

Searching for a way to mark the one-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster, I thought about a series of photographs I saw recently from Lower Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. They weren’t images of coastal destruction, they were the faces of people young and old holding up a simple handwritten message answering this question: “Why Should We Save Coastal Louisiana?”

Last night in Washington D.C., a BP clean-up worker and the son of a Vietnamese fishing family spoke to thousands of fired-up youth leaders.  Tony Nguyen and Andre Gaines were representing a diverse contingent of over one hundred people who traveled to Power Shift 2011 from across the Gulf Coast.

Native son Hilton Kelley will get Green Nobel for grass-roots environmentalism. By Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The public housing project where Hilton Kelley was born and raised sits in the shadows of two refineries that belch toxic chemicals into the air.

Just this past week I decided to leave my job as a food server at a casino in Hancock County, Mississippi.  I’ve worked in tourism for 15 years. I just could not continue to serve Gulf seafood to unsuspecting tourists and locals after the BP disaster.  There were other reasons for my leaving as well, but risking people’s health and pretending things are normal is totally against what I believe in. 


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