Mapping project draws on local Gulf residents to monitor oil disaster
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Federal officials visited the Gulf of Mexico today to monitor BP's response to the ongoing oil spill in the region. The oil company has come under increasing criticism from local communities and public officials for what they say is a slow and inadequate response to the disaster.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano pledged to hold BP accountable for the clean up.
“We are going to do everything we can to protect this land and protect these Parishes and that claims are paid, the oil well is sealed and this area comes back.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal emerged from a meeting with Napolitano and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar describing it as "good," "direct," "frank talks." Over the weekend Jindal said the federal government and BP have been slow to lay down protective booms and to dispatch vessels to combat the spill. So far, more than 65 miles of Louisiana's shoreline have been affected by oil.
"For anyone who has seen this damage, or seen the impact of this oil first hand, you know that what we've been saying is true, this oil not only threatens our coast and our wetlands, this oil fundamentally threatens our way of life here in south Louisiana."
Now, a grassroots effort is being organized to independently monitor the spill. Local residents are using interactive mapping to document the damage.
To learn more, we're joined by Mariko Toyoji, a Research Associate with Louisiana Bucket Brigade. She joins us from New Orleans.