CRCL Volunteers Plant 2,500 Mangrove Trees on National Estuaries Day

More than 40 CRCL volunteers gathered at Port Fourchon on Saturday, Sept. 24 to celebrate National Estuaries Day.  In just six hours, our volunteer crew planted 2,500 mangrove trees!

This project was a joint effort between Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and the Edward Wisner Foundation, and is a part of CRCL and NWF’s ongoing mission of restoring and protecting areas of coastal Louisiana continuing to be impacted by the ongoing oil related disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project also celebrated National Estuaries Day, a nationwide day of service which highlights the vibrant habitats within our nation’s wetlands.

The 2,500 mangroves planted at Port Fourchon on National Estuaries Day will provide essential protection for inland communities and create fish and wildlife habitat.
”Over the last ten years, CRCL has engaged more than 7,000 volunteers and restored approximately 3,600 acres of wetlands.” said Hilary Collis, Coastal Restoration Coordinator for CRCL.  ‘Through our project partners like National Wildlife Federation, and the Edward Wisner Foundation, we are able to coordinate volunteers and teach them about the importance of restoring Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.”

How proud would Wangari Maathai have been?

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Hands Across the Sand ~ June 25th

We’re looking for people across the world who would like to organize local gatherings on June 25th to speak out against offshore oil drilling and stand up for clean energy. Click HERE to learn how and where you can get involved – there may be an event planned in your area already!

Join me at Rodeo Beach, CA right next to where The Marine Mammal Center will be having the Grand Opening of “Washed Ashore:  Sea life & Art”, which will be going on from 10AM to 5PM.  ‘Washed Ashore’ is the vision of artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi. This community art project from Bandon, Oregon has turned the ugly reality of ocean trash into beautiful sculptures of the marine life we strive to save, inspiring us all to re-think our use of plastics and change our habits. You’ll find 15 massive marine life sculptures at the Washed Ashore: plastics, sea life and art exhibit at The Marine Mammal Center from June 25 – October 15, 2011.  Hope to see you at both of these events – come on out to the Marin Headlands and make a day of it with the whole family. If you can do a You Tube video of your event, you can upload it to their website Hands Across the Sand and share it with the across the world!

rodeo beach
Click here - Rodeo Cove 'A'

A Message from Founder, Dave Rauschkolb

Welcome!  Thank you for joining hands with us!

On June 25 at 12:00 in your time zone people of the world will have an opportunity to join hands and draw a line in the sand against expanding offshore oil drilling and championing clean energy for a sustainable planet.  This event will happen on beaches and in cities across the world.

Hands Across The Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses all borders and political affiliations. This movement is not about politics; it is about the protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fisheries.  The accidents that continue to happen in offshore oil drilling are a threat to all of the above. Expanding offshore oil drilling is not the answer, embracing Clean Energy is.

This movement is about embracing energy sources that will sustain our planet.  Oil and Coal are the largest polluters on the Earth threatening the quality of air we breathe, the water that we drink and the food that nourishes us.

We are joining hands to say NO to offshore oil drilling and Yes to Clean Energy. We are joining hands to end our dependence on oil and coal and embrace a clean energy future for a sustainable planet.  Safe food, clean water & clean air are the essential fundamental elements of our survival as a species. Offshore oil spills, the burning of fossil fuels and coal burning power plants present a threat to all of the above.

Growing and nurturing a clean energy policy on a global scale is the path to fresh job growth, a sustainable global economic future and a more stable geo-political future.   Our dependence on fossil fuels in the long term is unsustainable and the global conflicts created acquiring these fuels will continue to have a devastating, destabilizing effect on world politics.

The environmental damage associated with acquiring, refining and continuing to burn fossil fuels virtually guarantees a planet poisoned with dirty air, dirty water and unhealthy food. Fossil fuels will continue to play a major role but clean energy must begin to replace that role and restore a future for all of us and for future generations.

Our lives are too short to comprehend our complicity in the slow death we are inflicting on the earth. We must connect with generations past, generations present and generations future and weave a thread of balance and wisdom for our planet. Forget borders, forget the elements that separate us. We have done our damage, we now have the power to undo and together, join hands and build a clean energy path that sustains us all.  There is no more important issue we must focus on as humans.

Hands Across the Sands banner

The Elephant in the Room ~ Fukushima

Normally I do not post material other than my own. But in this case I feel that this extremely thorough article on Fukushima’s status and measures we might want to consider taking is important for everyone to read.


By: Lila York

Remember Chandra Levy?   Her disappearance following an affair with her congressman was the national obsession in the summer of 2001 – until we awoke one Tuesday morning to see the World Trade Center towers on fire     In the summer of 2011 the nation, or at least the nation’s media, seems similarly obsessed with the murder trial of Casey Anthony and the twitter account of a New York congressman.   Meanwhile, the crisis at the Fukushima Daichi plant rages on with no resolution in sight and a cold shutdown now projected to be years away.

Until last week there was an apparent media blackout on the crisis, although some Americans, this writer included, have followed the status of the reactors daily at Energy News and Fairewinds, the website of nuclear energy expert, Arnie Gundersen.   The Fukushima reactors were built by General Electric, which also owns Comcast, NBC, CNBC and MSNBC, so the absence of timely information is not surprising.   One article early on in the crisis suggested that the reinsurance on Fukushima was held in part by AIG and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, a supposition I cannot substantiate, but that may be true.   There is no doubt that we live in a time when corporate profits trump human safety and well-being, and we are seeing that manifest in this current crisis.   The best MSM sources for information over these last months have been Bloomberg, online and on television, and The Wall Street Journal, which have tracked the crisis primarily because it affects investment in Japanese companies.

Last week the Japanese government made startling announcements. Three of the five reactors experienced total meltdowns on March 11th, the day of the initial earthquake, and all three reactors have “melted through” leaky containment vessels, molten masses of melted fuel rods now fissioning  on the basement floors of those reactors.   The statement further confessed that levels of radiation released from the explosions were actually twice as high as initially reported, blaming the miscalculation on bad math.   (Indeed in the days after the March explosions plutonium was discovered on the ground in northern California and tritium in Vermont.)   In light of these revelations Arnie Gundersen did an interview on CNN last week (scroll down to see video), recommending that Americans wash produce thoroughly and stop drinking milk and eating dairy products.   He also suggested that any Americans wealthy enough to relocate to the southern hemisphere consider doing so, adding that Seattle residents were inhaling 5 “hot particles” or “fuel fleas” per day in the weeks following the explosions.   Democracy Now, Amy Goodman’s radio and television news program, which has not ignored the story over these months, did an extensive update on yesterday’s broadcast.

Should we all be constructing fallout shelters and stockpiling food and water?   Should we be shipping our children to South America until the crisis ends?   I have no idea, but neither does anybody else, including the nuclear experts.   They know that the crisis is more serious than Chernobyl.   The world has never experienced a “china syndrome” event, and there is no way to calculate the potential outcome.   One nuclear physicist who posts regularly at suggests that another explosion is unlikely given the current status, but warns that reactor 4 is in danger of collapsing on itself from even a minor earthquake or aftershock.   A collapse would negatively alter the scenario and could cause another major release of radioactive particles into the jet stream.   Chronic low-level radiation produces a myriad of diseases in animals and humans, and even the IAEA recently admitted that no level of radiation is safe, as radiation is the prime cause of cancers.   In any event, radiation exposure from a cross-country flight is in an entirely different category from a “hot particle” that would become an internal emitter once inhaled or ingested.   Of the isotopes released in nuclear accidents, the most dangerous are plutonium, strontium 90, which attacks bone tissue, iodine 131 which attacks the thyroid gland, and cesium 137 which attacks soft tissue, including the liver, kidneys and lungs.   Of these plutonium is the most lethal — 1/10,000th of a micron will kill a human.   Fukushima’s reactor number 3 illegally used MOX fuel, which is a mixture of uranium, depleted uranium, and plutonium. (The MOX fuel was sold to Japan by the United States during the Reagan administration).

The Norwegian Institute (NILU), a Scandinavian organization that measures air quality, akin to our EPA, had, for the first six weeks following the explosions, issued forecast maps for the northern hemisphere which tracked fallout clouds containing radioactive iodine, cesium and xenon, a gas.   Those maps were disturbing to all who saw them, as they showed North America literally blanketed in radioactive fallout at levels that vastly exceeded normal background radiation.

The EPA announced in early May that it would cease testing air, rainwater, tap water and milk, as iodine 131 levels, the isotope with the shortest half-life, had fallen to normal atmospheric levels (EPA test results here).   It has been reported at several websites that both NILU and the EPA were pressured to discontinue testing — or at least to discontinue publication of the test results.   The “pressure” has been variously attributed to the U.S. government, the Japanese government and the United Nations, although I have seen no hard evidence to substantiate any of those claims.   NILU began to publish more recent and updated historical maps in an alternate hidden file it code-named Zardoz, after the 1970’s sci-fi film about a post-apocalyptic future.   The previously hidden maps, showing emergency-level fallout contamination across North America, were subsequently re-published by two 20-something bloggers, here (scroll down the page) and here.   The Nuclear Engineering Dept at U.C. Berkeley has continued to test rain water, tap water, raw and commercially made milk, topsoil and an assortment of vegetables.   While radiation contamination has dropped significantly since the explosions of March 11, recent tests show new highs in contamination levels of topsoil and milk for cesium 137 and cesium 134.   Since only UCB is publishing test results, we cannot know for certain what levels persist in other areas of the country. In early April, the government of France advised that pregnant women and young children avoid milk, soft cheeses and leafy vegetables.   No such missive came from the U.S. government – and Western Europe has been receiving only 5% of the fallout that has blanketed North America. Last week Food, the website for the U.S. food and beverage industry, published a very informative article entitled “Fukushima in Our Food,” a good overview of contamination that has been recorded in North America since March 11th . Greenpeace, which conducted tests on marine life outside of Japan’s 12 mile limit last month, found levels of contamination in fish and seaweed to be above legal limits.

Yesterday Counterpunch published an article by two doctors on the spike in infant deaths in the U.S. since the explosions at Fukushima, a spike which mimics infant deaths in Europe following the Chernobyl disaster.   In North America the contamination comes largely in rainwater, which will, in turn, affect tap water, topsoil, vegetables, meat and dairy products over time.   The most vulnerable populations are pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, infants and young children, the elderly and any person suffering from an immune system-compromising illness, such as AIDS.   The most logical preventative measures Americans can and should take are these: Avoid going out in the rain and always carry an umbrella, avoid fresh dairy products, wash all produce, increase intake of potent antioxidants, such as CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid, and buy a reverse osmosis water filtration system for your home or at least for your kitchen faucet.   If you want to be prepared for a possible emergency down the road, also look into N95 face masks, which are widely available, HEPA air filters, and stockpile at least a few weeks of canned and dried food and filtered or spring water sufficient for your household.   (Well water and spring water are safe as they are filtered by the clay in the soil.)   Consult the links below for methods of protection from and detoxification of radio isotopes.   (These methods are also valuable to protect against radiation exposure from x-rays and CT scans).

Resources for news on Fukushima and results of testing :


Fairewinds, Arnie Gundersen

EPA test results

UC Berkeley Dept of Nuclear Engineering test results air and water monitoring team

American Nuclear Society twitter page!/ans_org

NILU historical maps

NILU Zardoz file;O=D

Radiation network. Live radiation ground level readings from citizens with dosimeters. Readings over 100 are alert level; over 50 cause for some concern. (Fuel fleas or hot particles are too small to register on a dosimeter and will not show up in these readings)

Information on supplements that prevent absorption of isotopes and remove contaminants from the body :

Chevron Annual Shareholders Meeting 2011

Chevron World Headquarters
San Ramon, CA
May 25, 2011

With $20 billion in profits for 2010, and in the face of rising gas prices contributing to crippling worldwide inflation, oil giant Chevron met with opposition Wednesday as activists from across the globe converged at their world headquarters to give shareholders and executives a reality check about the ‘True Cost of Chevron’.

Issues ranged from the massive contamination of the Ecuadorian Amazon to human rights abuse in Burma and elsewhere. They have already been found guilty in Ecuadorian Court of having caused pollution in the Amazon at a devastating level, but Chevron’s lawyers continue to appeal and refuse to take responsibility for their devastating environmental policies. As one Chevron executive states, “It sure doesn’t look good, Chevron vs. the Amazon villages”.  

Earlier this week, advocates from the Rainforest Action Network in Northern California unfurled a 50’ banner on the lower deck of the Richmond Bridge blasting Chevron for it’s toxic legacy in the Amazon.

Representatives from Ecuador, Angola, Nigeria, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, The Tar Sands region of Canada, Alaska, the Kimberly Region of Australia, Burma, and locals from Richmond, CA gathered to let Chevron shareholders hear about the true cost of maintaining our addiction to Chevron’s oil.  The folks from the Turtle Island Restoration Network were even there to represent the oceans and it’s creatures who cannot speak for themselves.

After being banned from last year’s meeting in Houston, 22 speakers were at last able to address shareholders from the podium. It was heartbreaking to hear stories of entire families lost to cancer, to see the tears and suffering first hand. But Chevron has not yet agreed to pay the fines in Ecuador, and it continues to make plans to expand its oil ventures to other ecologically and culturally delicate areas. 

These activists will not back down until their voices are heard and their grievances addressed.  As Antonia Juhasz from The Global Network states, “we will continue to work to fundamentally transform and restrict the way Chevron does business until we no longer need it’s operations at all.” 

For me, having spent most of this past year focused on the mess that we have created in the Gulf of Mexico, today was a huge wakeup call. I saw stark evidence of worldwide human rights violations, ‘pollute and run’ tactics, and multiple levels of environmental devastation far beyond what I previously knew about.  If you’d like to learn more about the havoc that Chevron has brought to the four corners of the globe, follow the links below. 

Participating Organizations

Amazon Watch

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Burma America Democratic Alliance

Justice in Nigeria Now


Rainforest Action Network

Sea Turtle Restoration Project

The Global Exchange

The True Cost of Chevron

Grand Isle – Where Is Everybody?

It was my second visit out to Grand Isle in as many weeks. My expedition partner Samantha Whitcraft from Oceanic Defense has been engaged in on the water research and aerial surveys since her arrival in the Gulf, and wanted to round out her experience by seeing the gusher’s impact on the terrestrial environment as well. The Gulf Disaster has all but disappeared from the national news, and Unified Command continues to open more beaches and fishing grounds at the same time that they are laying off thousands of workers. Having spent three days flying over the Gulf, we are very much aware that this is not over, nor will it be for a very long time.

What we found this week was an abandoned beach. The BP camp at the end of Grand Isle was almost empty. Even the fences marking off the makeshift parking lots were gone. Last week it was crawling with workers, dune buggies, trucks, and there were Porta Potties everywhere. Now, I’d say 85% of that is gone. The locals told me that they’ve been promised that the military & cleanup workers will come back after the Tropical Depression passes. I don’t believe it. I think they’ll come back, but in smaller numbers. They could be using the storm to sneak out the back door. I expect no less of them.

I’m making a commitment to return to Grand Isle before I leave the Gulf just to see if Unified Command is going to stand by these people, or not.