The BP Drilling Disaster and Aftermath
While the April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig may be a distant memory for many in other parts of the country, the adverse effects linger on for the five states bordering the Gulf Coast.
Coastal restoration and advocacy efforts are ongoing on multiple fronts today. As BP’s settlement funds and coastal restoration projects roll out, citizen vigilance is of utmost importance. Here are a couple good sources of information to keep abreast of the issue:
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster in 2010 until 2013, the Urban Conservancy played an important role as convener and host of the Delta Discussion Group.
About the Delta Discussion Group
The Delta Discussion Group (formerly the Delta Working Group) was a multi-stakeholder discussion forum that initially met in New Orleans on May 25, 2010 to brief on the status and impacts of the BP Deepwater drilling disaster that occurred on April 20, 2010.
The group discussed what a comprehensive strategy of response must include. Driven by the magnitude of the BP drilling disaster and the long term damage to the environment, economy, and lifeways of the Gulf Coast’s inhabitants, the DDG sought to bring artists, academics, NGOs, scientists, government officials, and those whose livelihoods depend on a healthy gulf around one table to sort out solutions.
The forums were hosted by The Urban Conservancy and the New Orleans Institute @ City-Works, with support from the Tulane Center for Water Resources Law and Policy, The United Houma Nation, the New Orleans Food and Farm Network, Gulf Restoration Network, The Center for the Study of New Orleans at Loyola University, National Wildlife Federation, and the People’s Environmental Center.
The Delta Discussion Group convened several targeted stakeholder briefings and a public forum between May 2010 and March 2013:
Emerging Gulf Priorities
January 25, 2011
The Delta Discussion Group briefing was convened by The Urban Conservancy and the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy. Since May 2010, the Delta Discussion Group has served as a participatory forum for a diverse group of scientists, academics, environmentalists, industry experts, artists, writers, NGOs, business owners and others in Southeast Louisiana affected by, documenting, and working to find long-term solutions to the BP drilling disaster, coastal restoration, and a sustainable Gulf ecosystem.
The Delta Discussion Group met on January 25, 2011, in New Orleans to discuss Emerging Gulf Priorities. A summary report is available.
The wetlands that are in danger are more than just trees. They act as a first line of defense for the communities against hurricanes, storms and tidal surge.
Getting It Done Together: Public Forum
June 23, 2011
On Thursday, June 23, 2011, 76 coastal citizens of Louisiana and Mississippi participated in Getting It Done Together: The Public’s Role in Shaping Our Coast’s Future, organized by the UC and the Delta Discussion Group at Longue Vue House & Gardens in New Orleans.
Leaders in the coastal restoration movement – Mark Davis (Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy), Drue Banta (Office of the Governor), Leslie Suazo (Office of Coastal Protection & Restoration), Amanda Moore (National Wildlife Federation), and Cynthia Sarthou (Gulf Restoration Network) – prepared attendees to participate in four state and federal processes critical to restoring Louisiana’s coast.
Dr. Scott P. Milroy of the University of Southern Mississippi amplified the necessity of public advocacy with his research presentation on seafood safety concerns from PAH contamination in the Mississippi Sound.
Targeted Stakeholder Briefing on the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) and the Coastal Restoration Master Plan
February 23, 2012
The Delta Discussion Group briefing was convened by The Urban Conservancy, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy, and Gulf Restoration Network. Since May 2010, the Delta Discussion Group has served as a participatory forum for a diverse group of scientists, academics, environmentalists, industry experts, artists, writers, NGOs, business owners and others in Southeast Louisiana affected by, documenting, and working to find long-term solutions to the BP drilling disaster, coastal restoration, and a sustainable Gulf ecosystem.
My Heart Is Tied Up in This Place: Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Plaquemines Parish’s Local Businesses
Apr 18 2012
Local independent businesses play a fundamental role in the community. Yet in the aftermath of large-scale disaster they are often overlooked, and the suffering of individual local business owners has historically received scant attention.
This report, however, puts local businesses at the forefront. Focusing on the impact the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had on independent businesses in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, we sought to answer several questions. Download “My Heart is Tied Up in This Place: Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Plaquemines Parish’s Local Businesses.”
The study, conducted and published by the Urban Conservancy in 2012, was made possible with generous funding from the Committee for Plaquemines Recovery and the blue moon fund.
RESTORE Act Briefing
On March 12, 2013, The Urban Conservancy and The Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy, with support from the Environmental Law Institute and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, held a targeted, informational briefing about how decisions will be made and dollars may flow from the RESTORE process. Organizers convened this forum at this time since the settlement of the civil penalties aspect of the case against TransOcean and the release of the Proposed Comprehensive Plan from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council have raised both interest and concerns about what the various pots of dollars will be used for, how the Centers of Excellence program is being set up in Louisiana, and the delays that already have occurred in issuing the proposed comprehensive plans and Treasury regulations.