FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, email@example.com
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Update from Opening Day of BP Oil Spill Trial
Conservation Groups Respond to Day One, Debut New Video Timeline of Oil Disaster
(New Orleans, LA—September 30, 2013) Today, phase II of the Deepwater Horizon civil trial began to determine how much BP will be required to pay in fines for the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Nearly three and a half years after the disaster began, BP has yet to pay any of its Clean Water Act civil fines, and the Gulf still waits for comprehensive restoration.
New Statements from Restoration Experts on First Day of Trial:
Conservation experts from the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign made the following statements on today’s trial start:
“The harm from the Gulf oil disaster is done – those marshes and beaches are contaminated, and only time can heal those wounds. What needs to follow is restoring the system, restoring the capacity of the delta to build new marsh, nourish beaches, and provide clean habitat for new generations of pelicans, dolphins and sea turtles,” said David Muth, director of Mississippi River Delta Restoration at National Wildlife Federation. “We need the responsible parties to stop evading responsibility, stop shifting blame, and to pay up so that Louisiana can implement the critical near term projects from its Coastal Master Plan.”
“Creating a healthy, sustainable coast is critical to the protection of nationally significant economic sectors along that coast – the largest port system in North America, critical energy infrastructure and essential fisheries,” said Steve Cochran, director of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program at Environmental Defense Fund. “Timely resolution of this case is critical, because in Louisiana, the proceeds from this case will go directly to creating that healthy, sustainable coast.”
“Healthy wetlands and barrier islands are critical to defend coastal communities from hurricanes, like Katrina,” said Dr. Doug Meffert, executive director at Audubon Louisiana. “There’s urgency to restore these vital ecosystems. Restoration will empower our people and protect our way of life.”
New Video Timeline of Oil Spill Debuted Today:
Today, the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign also released a new video timeline of the oil spill, from April 20, 2010 to present day, as a reminder of the ongoing and still unknown impacts to wildlife, habitats, communities and the economies throughout the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast. The video is playing on loop on a 16-foot, high-definition, LED billboard right outside of the courthouse on Poydras Street today and tomorrow.
WHO WE ARE: The Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign is made up of campaign staff from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, working collaboratively to restore the Mississippi River Delta. We are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States.