Gulf Coast Supplement

April 20, 2011– two days before Earth Day – is the one-year anniversary of BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf and August 29 is the sixth anniversary of the devastating landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Focusing on these two events, Rachel Cohen, Sustainability Program Coordinator for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, developed the supplementary set of resources on this page for the 40/40 for Earth Challenge.

In Oct. 2010, the Religious Action Center launched a new website, After the Spill: Religious Communities Restoring the Gulf, to lift up the moral implications of the disaster. The UUA joins faith-based communities across the country as a partner group in this effort. For more information, visit the website and read Rachel's article, The Religious Mandate To Not Abandon the Gulf.

Northwest Earth Institute's newest resource, Just Below the Surface: Perspectives on the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, a one-session discussion guide is now available on the NWEI website. This guide addresses the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, and explores opportunities for action. The materials and discussion questions facilitate a closer look at the connections between the oil spill, energy policies, and our lifestyles. Just Below the Surface offers an opportunity to reflect further on this event and the lessons it holds for us moving forward-individually and collectively. Note: when you order, be sure to put UUMFE/Green Sanctuary as your "connection" and NWEI will share a portion of the profit with UUMFE.

Another great oil spill resource: follow Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) staff member Regan Nelson's blog posts on the one-year anniversary of the BP spill. Regan is the senior oceans advocate for the NRDC oceans program.

40 Days of Action: Gulf Restoration/Oil Spill-related Actions

General resource for action step ideas – “The Top Five Ways to Get Involved in Gulf Restoration” from After the Spill

These resources connect to existing action steps (from 40/40 Sample Actions page):

(31) During the 40 days, learn about the post-Katrina Gulf coast. Contact a local organization and make a plan to start a partnership.

(32) Reflect on the BP Oil Disaster of April 2010. Go 40 days without driving. If you don’t drive anyway, see if you can go 40 days without getting into a car

Sample Worship Resources for the Sunday before Earth Day (closest to anniversary)

There are more resources on the After the Spill resources page (look at the Worship Resources and Commemorating Katrina sections)

End of 40/40 for Earth Challenge Ideas – events to celebrate the conclusion of the project and share experiences – another good action opportunity