Thanks to Sue Sturgis over at the Institute for Southern Studies for posting the story of John Wathen and his heart-breaking video of the oil spill destroying our southern coast as a result of BP criminal negligence.
The Institute for Southern Studies was founded in 1970 by veterans of the civil rights movement and has established a national reputation as an essential resource for grassroots activists, community leaders, scholars, policy makers and others working to bring lasting social and economic change to the region. Sue Sturgis writes:
Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen of Alabama and volunteer pilot Tom Hutchings of SouthWings flew over the Gulf of Mexico on Friday to get a look at the massive oil slick spreading from the site of the BP disaster.
At nine miles out, they began to smell the oil. At 11 miles, they saw a visible sheen on the water. And at mile 87 off the Alabama coast, they reached ground zero of the disaster — what Wathen described as a “red mass of floating goo” as far as the eye can see.
“The Gulf appears to be bleeding,” he said.
“For the first time in my environmental career, I find myself using the word ‘hopeless,'” Wathen continued. “We can’t stop this. There’s no way to prevent this from hitting our shorelines.”
Wathen and Hutchings had no trouble finding their way back to land: “All we had to do was follow the red,” Wathens said. “There was a perfect line of it leading from the rig to the shoreline.”
Here’s the video from that trip, which is also posted to Wathen’s blog dedicated to documenting the disaster: