“My Name is 6508799”
State of the Gulf, One Year After the Oil Drilling Disaster
This numbered moniker is how a participant at the Destin, Florida Town Hall meeting with Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator Kenneth Feinberg introduced herself.
For many residents residing in communities along the Gulf of Mexico, they feel as if their lives have been reduced to a number in the Gulf Coast Claims Facility database which holds so much power over life, livelihood, health and overall wellbeing.
One year after the Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster of April 20, 2010, thousands of Gulf residents not only have not been “made whole” from the disaster, but many have faced elevated levels of toxins in their bloodstreams, community conflicts, destruction of families, culture erosion, loss of property, including homes, cars, boats, etc., and, for many, an end to their way of life for the foreseeable future. Only a fraction of Gulf residents truly believe that the systems that have been set up to serve them have made demonstrable strides towards “making it right”, as has become the mantra representing the aim of recovery and restoration processes.
Based on dozens of interviews with affected communities and the organizations that represent them, a review of consensus documents and other reports from technical experts as well as organizations representing thousands of gulf residents, and examination of response systems set up to address the Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster, this report tells the illustrative stories and shares the analysis of the pervasive unmet needs and gaps in the response system one year after the Deepwater Horizon Macondo Well explosion took 11 lives and dealt a crippling blow to the ecosystem, including the communities, of the Gulf of Mexico.