In President Obama’s acknowledgment today of the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil disaster, he failed to mention the enormous losses sustained by the Gulf ecosystem – not only to a fishing-dependent economy but to the thousands of animals killed or harmed by toxic oil and dispersants that persist in natural habitats even today.
Defenders’ president and CEO, Rodger Schlickeisen, said, “The president’s failure to acknowledge the tragic loss and continued impacts on wildlife and natural habitat in the Gulf left a gaping hole in today’s statement. This oil spill is the biggest environmental disaster in our history, and the president should have recognized the ongoing harm being caused.
“Oil continues to wash up on beaches and pollute coastal marshes. And we can only hope that for many of the Gulf species, including pelicans, endangered sea turtles, numerous migratory birds, dolphins, bluefin tuna and other marine fish species, the spill will not be the final blow to their prospects for long-term survival. As far as we can tell now, the region’s coastal and marine environments may never be the same.
“We are dismayed that in the year since this huge, human-caused disaster occurred, the Obama administration has still not pushed for legislation that would reform a badly broken offshore drilling system and ensure protection for workers, wildlife and the waters on which we all depend. President Obama must not forget that his responsibility to clean up the mess in the Gulf includes making sure such a catastrophe never again happens off of America’s coasts.”
“As far as we can tell now, the region’s coastal and marine environments may never be the same.”