The oil and gas industry is involved in the disappearance of the Louisiana wetlands primarily in that its incessant exploration for resources in the area puts huge sections of the land underwater. The Ride for the Future team met with Aaron Viles, Deputy Director of the Gulf Restoration Network, and he reported that from 30 to 60 percent of the land lost could be traced back to the oil industry. The pipeline canals prevent sheet flow, a continuous cycling of water and sediment, which creates the foundation for the land.
“Used and neglected” are the words Viles used to describe the treatment of the Orleans parish by an industry looking to exploit its subsea resources. This issue of corporate accountability is what spurned the birth of the Gulf Restoration Network and the healthy gulf project (healthygulf.org). “No one likes to go after the polluters,” Viles said. That was until the BP oil spill in 2010. Now the main campaign of the Gulf Restoration Network is to guide the reparation money toward meaningful restoration projects instead of beachfront development in Alabama.
Here is a link to a protest the Gulf Restoration Network was involved in to make sure that BP pays for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
– Kaela Bamberger