Gulf Concerns

Gulf Concerns

BP Oil Spill Draws Thousands of Concerned Sportsmen to Virtual Town Hall

Washington, DC — A virtual town hall hosted by National Wildlife Federation tonight drew thousands of hunters and anglers concerned about the tremendous ecological and wildlife impacts of the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast. The area is a draw for hunters and anglers nationwide and often called a "Sportsman's Paradise."

The Gulf Coast sustains one of the world's largest fisheries and is home to more than 400 species of birds, fish and wildlife. It is bracing for what could be the worst oil spill in America's history.


NWF has a team on the ground in Venice, Louisiana leading boat tours of the region and has served as a focal point for volunteer activism and media inquiries. Leading the team is NWF President and CEO Larry Schweiger who spoke about what he's witnessed over the last several days.



"With a huge volume of oil flowing in the Gulf of Mexico unabated, we clearly have an epic catastrophe unfolding," Schweiger said. "The greatest coastal wetland system in America is at the height of spring wildlife nesting season. It now faces what may be the largest oil spill in the nation's history. It is hard to imagine a more dire situation." Bob Marshall, Times Picayune outdoor staff writer and conservation editor-at-large for Field and Stream spoke about his personal connection to the Gulf Coast and his alarm at what may be in store.

"This river of oil is still flowing out of the Gulf [and] these toxins will stay in the marsh mud for years," said Marshall. "We need your help to turn this around."


Coastal Louisiana was already in trouble prior to the spill. Canals dredged by the oil industry have carved up the once-vast coastal wetland system. The canals accelerate saltwater intrusion, destroying the protective cypress forests and replacing brackish and freshwater wetlands with degraded salt marshes. Withdrawing oil and natural gas has further deflated the region, causing millions of acres of marshes to subside. Coupled with sea-level rise caused by global warming, Louisiana is losing the equivalent of about two football fields of land every hour. Schweiger made clear that restoration of Coastal Louisiana and a freeze on new offshore drilling in the area would be priorities NWF would aggressively pursue.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Fishing How-To

Your Guide for the Best Catfish Baits

G&F Staff

If you've been catching catfish with the same method for years, it's time to change it up and...

Bass

MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?

Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Stories

More Other Freshwater

Other Freshwater

American Shad! Facts About 'Poor Man's Tarpon'

David Paul Williams

Understanding shad is key to finding them, no matter which river you're fishing.

Records

Angler Doesn't Miss 2nd Chance at State Record

G&F Online Staff - July 25, 2019

He was fishing for catfish when the Missouri record struck.

Other Freshwater

Killer Tips for Catching Pike with Dead Baits

Mike Gnatkowski

Dead baits under a float provide an easy meal for early-spring northern pike.

See More Other Freshwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×