Filed Under:  Environmental, Gulf Coast, Local

Gulf Coast Marks First Anniversary With Host of Events

28th April 2011   ·   0 Comments

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon platform claimed 11 lives on this Gulf of Mexico oil rig, injured 17 others and triggered the most massive oil spill in U.S. history. The next 12 months have been spent trying to cap the oil well, rescuing wildlife, assessing damage to the Gulf Coast ecosystem and holding those responsible for the explosion, oil spill and its aftermath accountable.

Residents and organizations from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida will pause in a number of ways Wednesday, April 20, to remember the lives lost during the explosion and recommit themselves to fighting to restore the Gulf Coast to its pre-oil spill state.

A listing of some of the events planned follows:

• (LA) 7:00am CST — 8:00am CST — Sunrise Gathering — Location: Amphitheater across from Jackson Square, New Orleans – A Sunrise Gathering will be held to memorialize the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. The event includes candle-lit moment of silence. Concurrent sunrise/sunset events in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas, are also being planned. This event is being designed to provide residents of the City of New Orleans and those from across the state to memorialize the eleven lives lost and to bring national attention to the urgent recovery needs of the Gulf’s communities and natural resources. For more information, contact Darryl Malek-Wiley at, (504) 861-4835

• 10:30 am — News Conference and Guided Boat Tours – Location: Myrtle Grove Marina, Myrtle Grove, LA – National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, and National Audubon Society — News conference and guided boat tours in Barataria Bay one year after the BP oil disaster, which caused major damage to wildlife and the fishing and tourism industries in coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. speakers will include Congressman Steve Scalise and NWF’s president and CEO Larry Schweiger, who will urge Congress to dedicate Clean Water Act fines to restore degraded coastal wetlands that will be shown on the boat tours and provide limited aerial tours of the Wax Lake Outlet canal project that’s building new land. Contact: Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, (225) 253.9781,

• (LA) 11:00am CST — 5:00pm CST — Marsh Grass Plantings and Dedication of the “Oil Spill HOPE Mural” — Location: The Rev. Percy Griffin Community Center, 15577 Highway 15, Davant/Braithwaite Plaquemines Parish, LA — Join oystermen, fishermen, shrimpers and environmental justice advocates to memorialize the BP Oil Drilling Disaster. For more information, contact Monique Harden at

• (LA) 4:00pm CST — 9:00pm CST — Memorial of the First Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion – Location: Grounds of the Grand Isle Medical Clinic 108 Willow Ln Grand Isle, LA 70358 — This event is based on Remembrance, Respect and Restoration. The event will begin with a “fishless fry” and a “shrimpless boil” and planting of “mini windmills” (pinwheels) along La. 1 to symbolize alternative energy sources. Grand Isle native vegetation and trees will be available for a donation. Organizers ask that the planting of trees/vegetation be done to memorialize all that was lost and to pray for restoration and empowerment. Next will be a lantern lit memorial walk and prayer vigil for the 11 men who lost their lives, as well as the death of the sea life and sea birds and of Gulf Coast residents’ hope and joy. For more information, contact Karen Hopkins at or Devin Martin at

• (LA) 5:30pm CST — Harmony for Health Benefit — Location: New Orleans House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., New Orleans — We invite you to join us and become a valuable sponsor in providing support for regional efforts to help those who are in need of medical assistance as a result of the BP oil spill. The Harmony for Health benefit at the House of Blues will be broadcast live. A number of artists from music and film will be featured including Brad Pitt; Voices of the Wetlands; James Carville; Anderson Cooper; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Robin Mann, president of the Sierra Club; Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and star of “Whale Wars”; Dr Ira Leifer, Chief Mission Coordinating Scientist for NASA Gulf Mission; Bonny Schumacher (NASA/JPL) founder of Wings of Care; Stuart Smith; Daryl Hannah; Dr. Riki Ott and special guests. For more information, go to

• 6:00pm CST — 9:00pm CST — Guitars For The Gulf — All Shed BBQ Locations from Louisiana to Florida — Symptom Sheets will be available for coastal citizens, fishermen, and clean up works who have fallen ill since the disaster. Organizers ask that folks consider giving guitars of some value as part of this fundraiser. Recording artists will sign these instruments and proceeds will be divided between the Louisiana Environmental Action Network for long-term health monitoring in the Gulf Region and getting the Solution to Pollution project finished. Visit for updates on artist and locations. Feel free to bring instruments you plan to donate to any Shed location or to Tipitina’s in the French Quarter location the night of April 20. These events are free and all are welcome!

• (Florida) 7:00pm CST — 8:00pm CST — Gulf Coast Memorial and Candlelight Vigil — Location: Public Beach shoreline, Pensacola Beach, FL — Please join us on Pensacola Beach on this one-year anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill to remember and commemorate the lives that were lost and changed. Please bring a candle to light in Commemoration and in Hope of Healing for the Gulf and for the spirits of the Gulf Coast people so that Gulf Coast residents can all move forward strengthened in their resolve to care for and protect the beauty and natural wonder that has meant so much to so many.

• (LA) 7:30pm CST — Solution to Pollution — Location: Tipitina’s French Quarter, 233 N Peters St., New Orleans — Countless artists are giving their time and talent to honor the 11 men who lost their lives and to address the long-term environmental and health impacts to the region. The show will feature Dr. John (Malcom Rebennack), Drew Landry,Shannon McNally, Michael Juan Nunez, The Treater Band, Grey Hawk, Fi Yi Yi and many other talented musicians. Tickets will be available for $25 @ in advance $30 at the door.
• (LA) 8:00pm CST — Community Center of St. Bernard’s Fifth Anniversary Fundraiser — Location: The Maison, 508 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans —The nonprofit Community Center of St. Bernard will celebrate its Fifth Anniversary with a live music fundraiser. There is no cover for the event, which will benefit the nonprofit Community Center of St Bernard. For more information call (504) 281.2512 or e-mail at or visit◊

This story originally published in the April 18, 2011 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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