GAP’s Know Your Rights Campaign (“KYRC”) seeks to pierce the cloak of fog that has hampered both public and private sector efforts to determine ecosystem damages and human health impacts in the Gulf region in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil blowout. KYRC aims to achieve this by raising public awareness of Gulf worker whistleblower rights, so that people who want to speak out about abuses they witness can do so safely and effectively.
The myriad public health concerns in conjunction with the natural resource damages to the Gulf region have served as a platform for a number of adversely affected persons to voice problems and concerns with BP’s restoration efforts, the participation of both state and federal governments, and the scientific community’s continued engagement with Gulf residents to assess impacts to the region.
During the last fifteen months, Gulf coast residents have, for example, sought relief for the destruction of the Gulf coast fisheries and wetlands. Having been directly exposed, or witnessed their children’s exposure, to oil and dispersant contaminated areas, many residents along the Gulf coast complain of significant health problems.
The Know Your Rights Campaign advocates for increased transparency and accountability of government and private sector actors involved in overseeing the cleanup of the oil, in assessing the natural resources damages incurred to the Gulf region, and ensuring that liability remains with BP and responsible parties to compensate all the adversely affected individuals who have suffered damages, both economic and health-related, because of the spill.
One problem of particular concern is that the testing methodologies used by the government to deem areas safe for commercial fishing are woefully inadequate and permit high levels of toxic compounds to slip into the human food chain. During the next several weeks, Climate Science Watch will be reporting on a number of environmental concerns — red flags that have arisen since the BP Gulf oil spill in April 2010.
The Know Your Rights Campaign aims to ensure that individuals who want to speak out against public safety threats, fraud, and abuses related to the Gulf Coast oil spill can do so effectively, while protecting themselves from retaliation in the process. Confidential expert legal advice and free counseling are available. For more information, see the KYRC website, or contact the Government Accountability Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate Science Watch is a sponsored project of the Government Accountability Project.