Louisiana Oil Spill Disaster Recovery


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Presentation of ideas and strategies for LA Cooperative Extension Service to consider in BP Oil Spill Disaster Recovery efforts. Ideas grew from site visit to Prince William Sound area and visits with groups and individuals who experienced the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

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  • Lessons Learned and Recovery Ideas to Consider for Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service – LSU AgCenter. In August 2010 I traveled to Alaska at the request of my Extension Director to seek ideas regarding possible recovery efforts by the Extension Service in LA. The following presentation was synthesized from this site visit after meeting with many Alaskans who experienced the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
  • Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred twenty years ago. It dramatically affected the Prince William Sound area. Following the oil spill the Prince William Sound Regional Citizen Advisory Council was established to take steps to protect the region from future oil spills. We sought the experience and wisdom of members of the PWS Regional Citizen Advisory Council as well as the professionals who work for the Alaska Sea Grant Program, Cooperative Extension Service and people who lived in the town of Cordova, Alaska.
  • After four days of focused dialog of many people who experienced the EVOS ideas emerged for consideration for our recovery efforts following the BP Horizon Oil Spill. Key Ideas By Topic are:Extension OrganizationHuman ResilienceChild Resilience Family Resilience Seafood Safety Activities Sea Grant CommunicationCommunity Resilience Citizen – Community Activities
  • A. Expect Oil Spill effort to last 20+ yearsB. Avoid litigation as an organization, don’t get sucked inC. Find way to get Whitehouse to support university research and Extension engagement that is independent and non-political if possibleD. Extension consider joining other credible groups & promoting need for citizen oversight for oil and gas offshore drilling (Rick Steiner was noted as Alaskan Extension agent who led this effort in Alaska, though he paid a heavy price for this leadership professionally)E. Help parishes/towns develop/organize their ‘voice’ in all the furor
  • A. requires to be in dialog with and have relationship with ‘communities’B. requires purposefully moving away from outreach model to engagement model for ExtensionC. promote dialog and discourse to help people focus on their values and come together with common values and develop plansD. to engage community consider model of convening, designing & facilitating – this would be a deliberative democracy in action process (maybe our focus forum process)E. requires that one set process up for people to learn, rather than for Extension to teach, this difference is important to note.F. re-dedicate to Extension advisory process – Extension must have strong advisory, stakeholder groups -
  • A. Know counseling may not work, probably will not workB. Think of creative alternativesC. Peer listening program D. Establish community coffee house, where people can gather and talk with friends.E. Encourage visiting neighbors – taking care of one another, checking on one anotherF. Provide places for people to quietly reflect – public gardens, parks & labyrinths G. ad campaign in paper promoting mental health strategiesH. promote pet ownership as recovery strategy
  • A. Create awareness of dangers of lack of child supervision; exposure to suicide, alcohol, abuse and domestic violence; teen work ops decreasing B. Encourage establishing of quality child care /afterschool programsC. Develop environmental awareness programD. Quality Assurance Community Monitoring Event with youth focus – work w/high school science teacher/environmental science class to take continuous samples or maybe 4-H Junior Leader group or variation of local Marsh Maneuvers project groupE. Youth oriented festivals and events held in community.
  • F. Encourage youth to help elders in community, promote intergenerational sharingG. Ad campaign promoting strategies for child resilienceH. Pets as recovery strategy for kidsI. Master Environmental Youth Leaders exchange program with Cordova youth J. Environmental field trips for school children promoted to school leaders, approvedK. Oil spill education curriculum developedL. Oil Spill Robotics program, youth fishing rodeo, sailing competitionM. 4-H & Eyak exchange program?
  • A. Awareness about potential increase in depression, PTSD, abuse, suicide, rural flight, financial problems, home foreclosure, homelessnessB. Ad campaign promoting strategies for family resilienceC. Community maze or labyrinth for stress management and meditationD. Supper clubsE. Faith based outreach programsF. Come together over food – pie social example in AK, LA – jambalaya event? Gumbo event? Largest po’boy building contest and eating event.G. Family Seafood Safety Night
  • A. Big message – but only if Extension confident seafood is very safe, risk is lowB. Partner with physicians (trusted source of info) to get word out*** if seafood is safeC. Partner with promo board ***if seafood is safeD. Show how to prepare seafood keeping in mind managed risk (avoiding roe?? Maybe, suggestions on how to clean, what parts to throw away, etc? To avoid contaminants??? )E. HACCP training for plant processers, workers, fishermen?F. Sea to Supper or Net to Plate effort – like the Farm to Table concept where every food safety procedure and step is highlighted
  • a. High profile individual (chef – Folse or Lagasse, , Saints – Brees, Payton, entertainer- Connick, Buffett, Marsalis)b. Video of each seafood safety step to showcase how our food supply is kept as safe as possiblec. Show profile on boat, at dock, at processing plant, with inspectors, at seafood vendors, at restaurant, at home
  • a. How to prepare seafood keeping in mind managed risk (avoiding roe?? Maybe, suggestions on how to clean, what parts to throw away, etc. to avoid contaminants )b. HACCP training for plant processers, workers, fishermen?c. Seafood Safety Family Night idea for fisher families – combining seafood safety and families fun during mealtime focus
  • A. Establish Fisherman to Fisherman Exchange Program between LA , AL and AK (or fisheries to fisheries)B. Secure funding for more sea grant agents by calling on partners to support/justify/endorse need & get BP to set up endowed fund to permanently support C. Aggressive seafood safety plan in place focused on fishermen and related industry reducing risks for public D. Avoid advocating for seafood, rather advocate strictly for seafood safetyE. Have ‘message’ prepared about what Sea Grant Extension agents do in course of workF. Training for fishermen on oil spill prevention and response, hurricane disaster prevention and response effortsG. Work on bringing together fishermen unions, groups, associations to form consensus.
  • Harbor scenes of Cordova, Alaska.
  • A. Everything credible on websiteB. Regular press releases on Thursday to maximize coverageC. if media get it wrong, don’t be afraid to contact; be courteous, say “You may not be aware of this…..”; combat with science –researched-based info.D. media specialist coaches/ writes for org. spokespersons w/ carefully crafted messages E. call them first, don’t sit and wait for them to call youF. be the ‘go to’ source for mediaG. have brand message developed for orgH. the presenter matters; have best speakers for org. featuredI. slogan– Let’s come out of this smarter, better, stronger!J. Develop localized news bulletin w/ local services, events of concern to coastal residents
  • A. Be prepared for in-fighting and controversy to develop, B. Implement strategies to build ‘therapeutic community’ (see Growing together by PWSRCAC)C. Peer listening program to be instituted as broadly as possibleD. Anniversaries – plan together as community event – note progress, emphasize next stepsE. Promote moving forward warn residents about waiting for justice that ma/ may not happen.F. As community develop annual report card for BP on recoveryG. Fight as community for locals to get preference in hiring by BPH. Communities who come together fare better than communities who do not. Help develop process that will bring communities together to hash out how to proceed in communityI. Find community members to help affected community members w/paper work required
  •  A. Not just fishing, not just oil and gas – not smart to put all eggs into 1 or 2 basketsB. consider expanding tourism ops (children’s glacier, sports fishing, Fungus festival , hiking trails, cooking w/famous chefs, scenic tourism, bird watching, wild ice skating)C. new or improved tourism experiences focused on natural resources or unique cultureD. build tourism from within community to provide new job ops and maximize involvementE. Diversify income for local residents, but not at expense of primary income (fisheries). F. consider value added economic endeavorsG. SBA was CRITICAL for Alaskans– loans for business recovery/ startup, HAVE HELPERS AVAIL.H. Communities must get organized/positioned to work with ‘super oil spill trust fund’ trusteesI. New industry - Cordova chip sealing industry, hydro project, regional health planJ. Improved transportation – jet ferry to replace old ferry, 7 hrs reduced to 4 hrs to cross soundK. New community resources - Cordova Community Center – library, museum, city hall, stage & theater, mini convention center for up to 200; reclaimed land fill is now little league field.L. Be careful what you ask for as a community. Some items are not sustainable
  • A. Sneak in as much fun as you can for community, for people to help cope with stress/depression, for relief from agony, sadness and angerB. Fun tournament in the mud(soccer), included lots of t-shirts for everyone, motivating buttons, civic pride buttons, humane buttons, C. “We love our coast” day – celebrations, competitions, entertainment, benefit w/5 course gourmet meal by renown chef, silent auction, live auction, lots of volunteers involved.D. Community Pie contest – best pie, pie eating, unusual pie, etc. pie in the face fund raisingE. Copper Ridge Watershed project
  • A. Get legislation accomplished 1st, requires White House endorsement, congress approval B. Legislation - must have grassroots citizens demand it ; get behind establishing/getting support for citizen oversight process for gulf or state (gulf may be impossible) C. Legislation should avoid gubernatorial appointee process, phrased as no political appointees.D. CAC voting members should be comprised of reps of groups of victims of OSE. non-voting/ex-officio members should include Extension/other groupsF. CAC should be funded by legislation by BP, rather than governmentG. Citizen advisory Council focused on PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PREPARATION
  • H. CAC must have access to facilities and records designated by congress for oversightI. CAC must have media strength (build over years)J. Given that human error will occur, prevention and preparedness/response is criticalK. Encourage/guide small coastal communities to apply for EPA grant – Quality Assurance Community Monitoring Event – Extension finding a way to help communities with this shows we care and are trying to advance solution Quote -Chugach CEO: IF INDUSTRY IS IN YOUR BACK YARD, THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE A SAY IN HOW THEY OPERATE, YOU SHOULD HAVE A SAY IN OVERSIGHT AND COMPLIANCE.
  • I learned that the train’s a coming!... Oil Spill effects are bearing down upon us.
  • We’ve got to get ready! … Ready for the harmful effects!
  • We’ve got to get movin’! … Get our response programs formulated and in place.
  • Cause if we don’t…
  • That train is going to pass us by…. And the teachable moments concerning recovery from this disaster may be lost.
  • Louisiana Oil Spill Disaster Recovery

    1. 1. Louisiana Oil Spill Recovery:Wisdom and Experience from AlaskansPresented by:Rebecca White, Ph.D.ProfessorLA Cooperative Extension ServiceLouisiana State University Agricultural Center
    2. 2. Goal and Objective GOAL - To gain knowledge of oil spillrecovery actions from Alaskans whoexperienced the Valdez Oil Spill OBJECTIVE – Following a site visit, todistill potential key recovery ideasfrom Alaskans who experienced theValdez Oil Spill for consideration forour Cooperative Extension - LSUAgCenter Oil Spill Recovery Plan
    3. 3. Why Alaska? Exxon Valdez oilspill Prince WilliamSound – RegionalCitizen AdvisoryCouncil expertise Alaska Sea Grantexperience Town of Cordovaexperience
    4. 4. Lessons Learned andIdeas for Consideration Key Ideas By Topic◦ Extension Organization◦ Human Resilience◦ Child Resilience◦ Family Resilience◦ Seafood Safety Activities◦ Sea Grant◦ Communication◦ Community Resilience◦ Citizen – CommunityActivities
    5. 5. Idea # 1: ExtensionOrganization Consider supporting citizen oversightprocess
    6. 6. Idea # 2: ExtensionOrganization Transform Extension from informationprovider to ‘engaged ‘organizationwith communities
    7. 7. Idea # 3: Human ResiliencyIn addition to available mental health counseling,develop alternative programs to help people
    8. 8. Idea # 4: Child Resiliency Public awareness and fun activitiesfor children
    9. 9. Child Resiliency (continued) Fun for children
    10. 10. Idea #5: Family Resiliency Public awareness and fun and/orhealing activities for families
    11. 11. Idea # 6: Seafood Safety Building confidence in seafoodsafety strategies:
    12. 12. Sea to Supper or Net to Plate effort – everyfood safety procedure and step is highlighted
    13. 13. Idea # 6: Seafood Safety Promote model of managed seafoodsafety risk
    14. 14. Idea # 7: Sea GrantExtension Program enhancement to serveincreasing fisheries needs
    15. 15.  Establish Fisherman to FishermanProgram
    16. 16. Idea # 8: ExtensionCommunication Explore every avenue to get information out.
    17. 17. Idea # 9: CommunityResiliency Be prepared - corrosivecommunities will develop.
    18. 18. Idea #10: CommunityResiliency Work toward sustainable communityand economic base
    19. 19. Idea #11: CommunityResiliency Create community fun eventsas strategy for resiliency
    20. 20. Idea # 12: Citizen Activities Develop Citizen Advisory Council(CAC) and process to reduce futureGulf coast oil and gas drilling risk tohuman, environment, economy &communities
    21. 21. Citizen Activities (Cont.)
    22. 22. I learned that the train’s acoming!
    23. 23. We’ve got to get ready!
    24. 24. We’ve got to get movin’!
    25. 25. Cause if we don’t‘….
    26. 26. It’s going to pass us by!