It has been nearly 2 months since the oil leak began in the Gulf Coast, putting the Louisiana wetlands and its inhabiting animal and plant species in grave danger. Following an offshore oil rig explosion on April 20, efforts to contain the leak are underway. More help is needed though--click here
to see what you can do to help. If you would like to volunteer to help in the Gulf Click Here
An aerial view of the Chandeleur barrier islands shows sheens of oil reaching land, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The island rest 20 miles from the main Louisiana coastline. (AP Photo/David Quinn)
(For more photos, click here)
As the oil spill rapidly spreads, biologists predict severe damage to the wildlife and natural resources in the coastal, wetlands areas of the affected states including Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama. Louisiana has the 2nd largest seafood industry in the U.S. The bulk of oyster and shrimp production comes from the engulfed area, and the oil slick threatens to destroy these fisheries completely, affecting not only this year's seafood but livelihoods of those in the region. It is likely these fisheries will be affected years from now--fisheries damaged during the Exxon Valdez spill more than 2 decades ago are still feeling its aftereffects.
Local animals and birds have already been negatively impacted by the oil slick. The crude oil can coat the animals and poison them if it is ingested. Already, as of June 18, there had been more than 1,000 dead animals found in the spill zone. Also of critical importance it the animals' habitat, the wetlands. The crude oil actually works to suffocate the wetlands plants and as the plants die their roots no longer hold the soil in place, thus enabling more erosion of this endangered region. This region is needed to help protect the Gulf Coast from harmful storm surges during the hurricane season.
Photo credit: Reuters.com
Music for Relief's work on the Gulf Coast began with the recovery effort following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and continued with the Send Dirt
campaign in 2009. Send Dirt, a partnership with Louisiana based non-profit organization Voice of the Wetlands, was designed to help restore and protect the southern Louisiana wetlands. The wetlands are crucial to the prevention of natural disasters in the area, acting as a sponge in absorbing storm surges and possible hurricanes before it passes through the Gulf coast. It once was a home to many species of plant life and animals, most of which have become endangered due to the depletion of these lands.
Text DIRT to 85944 to make a $10 donation to help restore and protect the Louisiana
When prompted, please reply with YES to confirm your gift.
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