United States -- Gulf
The Gulf coast is currently in grave danger from the catastrophic BP Deepwater Horizon spill explosion and ongoing spill. One of our nation’s most productive fisheries is in peril and critical wetlands for hurricane protection are at risk, with wildlife and human health in jeopardy.
Our Gulf Waterkeepers are the first line
of defense during this ongoing disaster, which
is projected to eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez
oil spill in
The threats to the Gulf region are as diverse as its ecosystems. Nutrient pollution from agriculture and development has caused a dead zone—where oxygen levels are too low to support aquatic life—the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico. Widespread coastal and inland development destroys wetlands and other critical habitat, and stormwater pollution chokes tributaries and the Gulf with sediment and toxic runoff. In the past 10 years, the Gulf has lost the largest percentage of coastal wetlands in the nation. Mountaintop removal, longwall and other coal mining activities destroy water resources, while coal-fired power plants poison the food chain with mercury and other toxins. The presence of oil and gas deposits offshore and several major ports make the Gulf coast the heart of the U.S. petrochemical industry.