Heroes

Before new drilling starts in Australia, he wants to share how the BP oil spill affected his family.

Louisiana is still healing while BP is gearing up for more drilling in Australia.

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The Wilderness Society

Telley Madina's family fishes for oysters in Louisiana.

Or they did until the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Their story is recorded in this love letter (of warning!) to another community that may be soon affected by BP — the Great Australian Bight coastline.



What was it like right after the BP oil spill?

All images via The Wilderness Society.

The night crickets were silenced. Chilling.

Beyond the environmental toll, the spill also created an economic disaster for local families.

Telley's father-in-law is a third-generation oyster fisherman. When the BP oil spill happened, Telley said he estimated that it'd be more damaging to their community than Katrina. That proved true in his case.


Fishing boats in Louisiana, looking pretty darn great.

Beyond the environmental toll the BP oil spill created, thousands of families that depended on the ocean for their livelihood were left out of work.

"Even if you lost your house in Katrina, you could get back in the boat and start to work," Telley explains. "During BP oil spill, you had a boat that you had to pay for and the house but no food."

The BP oil spill also happened at the beginning at oyster season, which basically cut the income for these families right at the start.

It's impossible to truly compare the oil spill with Katrina, but thinking about it in this way puts it in a new perspective and suggests a need for a more holistic way of thinking about the consequences of oil spills.

A shot of the cleanup efforts post BP spill.

The lesson this disaster taught us should help guide other decisions being made about our world's oceans.

Should we drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight? It's a remote, vibrant ocean. The Wilderness Society is trying to stop BP from drilling there. Here's a great resource for learning more and a place to donate.