Remember the Gulf

Over the summer months, I watched the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Did you? We couldn’t miss it! While the oil was gushing, news crews broadcast the impact hourly, and then daily-we even had a live deep sea video feed! We knew the beaches were in danger. Animals were losing their habitat. People were losing their livelihood and food source. We listened to the governors and mayors in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. We watched Jimmy Buffett’s benefit concert on the Alabama beach (some of us several times-I admit). We were aware of the problem because it was all over the news. Now that the well is capped, the news coverage has dried up as well. 

 But the damage remains…and we should not forget. While the oil may be mostly offshore, (and I’ve visited several beaches in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle since July and can assure you they are oil free and open for business), tourism is still stinging from the negative publicity. Shrimpers and fishers are still unsure if their catches are safe…as are the hesitant consumers.   

 All this may seem gloomy, but hope is present-let’s take a look…

Several individuals and organizations are trying to keep the catastrophe in public sight. Last Saturday, an article on Yahoo News examined the withdrawal of public interest from the Gulf of Mexico situation. You can read the article here. The article features an interview with Dave Edmunds, who recently started Takingbackthegulf.com in an effort to keep the ongoing effects and recovery efforts in front of the public’s attention. Visitors to the site can submit benefit event information or sign up to volunteer with recovery efforts.Turtle

Fundraising seems to be the best way to help the Gulf Coast…and two New Orleans t-shirt vendors are doing just that. Fleurty Girl (a.k.a. Lauren Thom), who sells New Orleans inspired t-shirts, jewelry and accessories, has created an adorable “Rescue Me” t-shirt. The shirt features an adorable, (yet manly enough for guys to wear)  turtle. Best of all-this girl thinks of every angle-no petroleum products were used in the printing process (love it!). Even more impressive, Fleurty Girl is giving 100% of the shirts’ net proceeds to Audubon Institute’s Louisiana Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Rescue Program to rescue marine animals impacted by the oil spill. Take a look- Fleurtygirl.com. The shirt is also in kids’ sizes. Check out the “Rescue Me” earrings, too!

Blake Haney and Patrick Brower’s Dirty Coast (referencing New Orleans’ location between the East and West Coasts-and that its the land of dirty rice and oil drilling), has also produced a benefit t-shirt. Part of the profit from the sale of this shirt is going to help out the area fishers. This shirt also displays a fun design: Dirtycoast.com.

I love it when businesses show they care about the world around them-and these two shops are doing an excellent job. Let’s take a moment to give them, and  Dave Edmunds, a round of applause for showing us hope in the midst of catastrophe. And maybe we can even help out and purchase a really neat shirt (or two)!

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