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The Deepwater Horizon spill — the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history — refocused the nation’s attention on one of the most important and productive ecosystems on Earth and reminded us all of the relationship between people and nature. So what's been happening in the Gulf since the spill? New York State Director Bill Ulfelder sat down with NY1 recently to share the latest on The Conservancy's work in the Gulf.
What We're Doing
- Restoring key bays and estuaries. The bounty of the Gulf of Mexico begins in its bays and estuaries. These are the natural foundations of the entire ecosystem and contain the marshes, seagrasses, fish, mangroves, coral reefs, and other plants and animals that make the Gulf one of the most important and productive places on Earth.
- Working to ensure oil and gas development is carried out in a safe and sustainable manner. It is now evident that the response plan prepared by BP for the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform was wholly inadequate. The nation should take strong measures to ensure ongoing oil and gas development in the Gulf minimizes harm to coastal and marine biodiversity and habitats.
- Investing in science and technology to inform decision-making and restoration plans for the Gulf of Mexico. The full impact of the spill on the Gulf’s ecosystems will not be known for some time, and significant study will be needed. Science tells us that a spill of this magnitude would have profound effects on even the healthiest of ecosystems, but the risks to Gulf coastal habitats are greatly magnified by the decades of degradation that preceded it.
What You Can Do
The Oil spill in the Gulf is a reminder of the importance of New York’s marine and coastal systems. It gives us a wake-up call to examine appropriate sightings for energy, while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Here's how you can help protect our marine and coastal ecosystems here in New York:
- Plant native trees and shrub.
- Limit the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
- Support public policy that restores our coastal and marine habitats.
- Limit your reliance on fossil fuels by taking public transportation whenever possible.