Louisiana Coastal Cleanup
The Importance of the Louisiana Coast
The Louisiana wetlands are a unique ecosystem that is home to many valuable plants and animals, In addition to being a wildlife haven and tourist destination, the Louisiana coast is also valuable for protecting inner land from natural disasters.
The BP Oil Spill
The BP oil spill of 2010 was perhaps the most well-known and tragic oil spills to-date. In 2014, BP announced that their active coastal cleanup has come to an end. This cleanup began in 2010 after millions of barrels of oil were spilled into Louisiana’s coastal waters. Because of the natural movement of the coastal waters, oil and oil byproducts were being brought to shore daily for years. These contaminants were introduced to local plants and animals, causing further coastal erosion and threatening already endangered species. Although BP is scheduled to monitor the Louisiana coast where oil has been previously found and removed, their daily coastline patrol and cleanup has ended.
Additional Coastal Pollutants
In addition to oil byproducts, human proximity has caused further pollution. Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass, straws, cups, plastic utensils, and other miscellaneous garbage has further polluted our coast. Each year, millions of pounds of human waste are collected from the coast.
International Programs, National Agencies, and Louisiana Coastal Cleanup Groups
International groups such as the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup offer many opportunities to clean up coasts all over the world. National organizations like the U.S. Coast Guard also share responsibility for tidying up coastal land. In addition to these national and international agencies, many states also have their own cleanup programs in place to preserve local coastlines. Organizations like California Coastal Commission and Alabama Coastal Cleanup work to promote clean beaches and coastal cleanup volunteer programs within their state.
Cleaning the Louisiana Coast
Since pollution and debris arrive on Louisiana shores every day, constant cleaning methods are necessary to preserve the beauty and wildlife found here. Since this land is so crucial to our existing food supply and recreational uses, everyone should do their part to contribute to the vitality of the coastal land we share and rely so heavily upon. Louisiana residents should enforce that big oil companies and other industrial companies should lead Louisiana coastal cleanup efforts and accept responsibility for the coastal pollution that they cause. Alternatively, anyone living in a coastal state should take time to assist in the various local volunteer programs dedicated to beautification of the coast. When everyone works towards the same objective, such as Louisiana coastal cleanup, many amazing things can happen!