Gulf Residents March 1,200 Miles to Congress to Call for BP Spill Action

We're almost upon the one year anniversary of the BP Gulf spill. And though much of the nation seems ready to forget about the devastation wrought on the region, Gulf residents are still coping with the impacts from the spill even today. Rising gas prices have lead politicians to opportunistically call for more drilling, even while citizens and ecosystems around the Gulf remained imperiled and neglected. A group of Gulf residents and activists, fed up with the lack of action, set out from Louisiana for Washington by foot, in a symbolic act of protest. Today, they arrived in DC, where they're demanding a meeting with the president. Matt Smith, Heather Rally, Gavin Garrison, Justin Daly, Lamar Billups of the nonprofit Project Gulf Impact, marched along with Drew Landey and Cherri Foytlin, two prominent residents of the region whose lives were irrevocably changed by the spill, in order to draw attention to the ongoing plight of the Gulf. The activists walked 1,243 miles over 31 days to make it to the nation's capitol.

According to the group's statement, which they released upon completing the long haul, they plan to "confront government officials on their home turf about the lack of action by Congress, the Administration and BP to support families and ecosystems affected by the BP oil drilling disaster in the Gulf in April 2010. The group will travel back to New Orleans on April 20th, the one-year anniversary of the oil rig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico."

For all intents and purposes, the march, which they've dubbed 'the Road to Washington' has been a great success -- the walk drew widespread media attention, and caught the eye of prominent senators and the EPA, who have asked to meet with the group in DC. In the video below, Foytlin, a mother of six whose husband was an oil rig worker in the Gulf, calls for a meeting with Obama himself.

For more information on the march, or to support the group's efforts, check out the Road to Washington.

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