Today marks the release of Deepwater Horizon, a film inspired by the real-life disaster that occurred in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing 11 crew members and causing a catastrophic oil spill.
The movie is already receiving praise from critics, and is providing a reminder of both the human and environmental impact this tragedy had. National Geographic photographer Joel Satore documented the spill in this series of photos, which are harrowing to view.
Cleanup efforts after the spill took years and were spearheaded by organizations such as International Bird Rescue. As you may remember, I had the opportunity to visit the International Bird Rescue wildlife center in California two years ago, and the work they do is incredible.
IBR was founded in 1971 after an oil spill in San Francisco and pioneered many of today’s methods for responding to oil disasters. After research determined that Dawn dish soap was the best cleaning agent for oiled wildlife, the company partnered with International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center to create the Dawn Saves Wildlife initiative, donating thousands of bottles of soap to help rescue wild animals.
It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of such an enormous disaster, but we can channel that feeling into something constructive. It could be as simple as seeing Deepwater Horizon this weekend and starting a conversation about the event – I’ve linked to several sources in this post where you can do further reading on the spill and its impact. You can help International Bird Rescue in its response to environmental threats by volunteering or donating, and the Dawn Facebook page also shares ways to make a difference. And in the bigger picture, we can all help the environment by thinking about our daily actions. We tend to think of “Green living” as a huge lifestyle change, but in reality it can be as easy as simply reducing waste by not throwing out as much food, or writing your grocery list on the back of a junk mail envelope instead of using a brand new piece of paper.
As a proud Dawn Wildlife Ambassador, I’ll be sharing more ways to help over the coming year. I invite you to visit Dawn Saves Wildlife and follow their Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.