Friday, June 11–Fundraising Drive Underway To Help Oil Spill Initiative

BERLIN – Local
water quality advocates are asking for local support for their colleagues
working on Gulf of Mexico waterways after the massive BP oil spill.

Assateague Coastal
Trust (ACT) is accepting donations for Waterkeeper programs in the Gulf of
Mexico region, specifically the Mobile Baykeeper, the Louisiana Bayoukeeper,
the Emerald Coastkeeper, the Apalachicola Riverkeeper and the Galveston
Baykeeper programs.

The donations will
be sent directly to the Waterkeepers Gulf of Mexico oil spill assistance
initiative. Donations can be made through the ACT website at
www.actforbays.org.

Any donations will
be simply passed through to the Gulf waterkeepers, said Steve Farr, ACT development
director.

“We need to try to
help in any way that we can those folks on the front lines,” Farr said.

The Waterkeepers
are the eyes and ears of local water protection, Farr said, tasked to monitor
local water quality and keep private industry, like BP, and governments alike
accountable.

While local coastal
bays and Atlantic Ocean waters are not currently under chemical or petroleum
threat, unlike the Gulf of Mexico, the local ecosystem would be hit hard if any
such problems surfaced.

“This does not mean
we can sit back and feel confident that our watershed and our waterways are
safe,” said Joe Fehrer, ACT board member. “Just as life has changed forever in
the small communities along the Gulf, we must take some of the responsibility
for what is happening down there and work harder locally, not only to protect
our coastal watershed, but to strive towards a more environmentally sustainable
way of life.”

Although the Gulf
of Mexico oil spill does not immediately threaten Maryland coastal shores, the
demand for oil comes from all Americans, Farr said.

“It may ultimately
reach us if they don’t fix it. More fundamentally our dependence on fossil
fuels including oil is demand driven,” said Farr.

People can reduce
their use of petroleum products by biking and walking when possible, instead of
driving, Farr said, and car owners can purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Citizens should
also be alert to fossil fuel operations in the region, such as the offshore oil

drilling operation proposed off the coast of Virginia, said Farr.

“Be vigilant and let your policy makers know you

oppose such things,” Farr said 

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