Gulf Coast Marks Katrina Anniversary, Copes with BP Disaster, Leads on Clean Energy

New Orleans–(ENEWSPF)–August 24, 2010.  As the fifth anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita approaches, Gulf Coast residents are continuing to cope with the damage wrought by the latest tragedy, the BP oil disaster.

Gulf Coast communities are also leading the way in clean energy solutions that will prevent future oil disasters and help combat climate disruption and the catastrophic weather events it will bring. In the five years since Katrina and Rita, Sierra Club has helped the Gulf Coast rebuild green, invest in energy efficiency, restore wetlands, and expose toxic FEMA trailers. The organization has also helped low-income communities along the Gulf Coast fight back against environmental injustice.

On Sunday, Sierra Club staff and volunteers in New Orleans will mark the Katrina anniversary and highlight Gulf Coast solutions. A schedule of events is listed below.

In addition, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune is featured in a new Spike Lee documentary airing this week about the hurricane and the BP disaster. More information on the film, titled “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise,” is available here:

Statement of Sierra Club New Orleans Environmental Justice Organizer Darryl Malek-Wiley:

“This is a difficult time for those of us along the Gulf Coast, as we remember all our neighbors who were lost in the storms five years ago, and now those who lost loved ones and livelihoods in the BP disaster.

The Gulf Coast is the front line of climate change and oil pollution. We’ve been hit harder than most by hurricanes and now, a catastrophic oil spill. These tragedies were caused and worsened by corporate polluters who were allowed to skirt health and safety laws.

We do not want to see any more preventable tragedies in the Gulf Coast. Here in Louisiana, we’re leading a bold effort to combat climate change and make sure communities are better prepared for the damage it will bring.

The Gulf Coast is not a dead zone that should be handed off to the polluting industries. The Gulf Coast is part of the solution. We are helping move America towards a clean energy future that will create jobs and safer, healthier communities.”