The tragedy still unfolding along the Gulf Coast following the BP Oil Spill has spawned an event in Santa Barbara to show solidarity with the people and environment impacted by the spill.
In a case of history unfortunately repeating itself, the tragedy still unfolding along the Gulf Coast following the BP oil spill has mobilized another community almost a continent away, Santa Barbara, Calif., an area that knows something about the havoc and hardship that such an event causes. Forty years ago, Santa Barbara suffered a similar devastating incident, The Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969, which effectively gave rise to the modern environmental movement. As globs of oil, dead sealife and birds washed onto pristine beaches keeping tourists away and ruining once productive fisheries, angry and concerned citizens mobilized to ensure the protection of an economy that requires a healthy coastline.
Today, Santa Barbara enjoys the limelight as a coveted destination for visitors from around the world, but hasn’t forgotten the lessons learned. So in a show of solidarity with the Gulf communities so gravely impacted by BP’s mess, grassroots organizers in “The American Riviera” have created an organization, Stand in the Sand, that on Sunday, June 27 will host a Gathering For The Gulf on West Beach, the site of the 1969 spill. Held from 1-4 pm, visitors and locals are invited to come and take part in the three-hour event, which will include the formation of a “human boom” in a gesture of solidarity with the people and environment of the Gulf. Other activities include a welcome ceremony by the local indigenous Chumash tribal members, an address from Mayor Helene Schneider and other local celebrities and speakers, followed by the forming of a gigantic, yellow “Human Boom” at 3pm to symbolically stem the rise of the incoming black tide now plaguing the entire Gulf Coast. Wear your yellow shirts and make a weekend out of it in sunny, oil-free Santa Barbara.