Casi Callaway, executive director of Mobile Baykeeper in Mobile, Alabama, was featured in our October issue as one of five standout Gulf citizens who pioneered cleanup efforts for the oil spill disaster. Read below her insights on the situation now:
"Over the last month, the United States has become ready to focus on Restoration even as oil continues to wash ashore in Alabama. A special invitation to Mobile Baykeeper to go to New York City to address the newly formed Gulf Action Network of the Clinton Global Initiative was quickly followed by an invitation to join Governor Riley’s newly created Alabama Coastal Recovery Commission. These two incredible opportunities are both inspiring and should give those of us most affected by this BP Oil Disaster great hope for the future because the state and nation’s best and brightest are willing to commit to and work for Gulf Wide Restoration.
As Alabama’s Governor Bob Riley said in the September 28th meeting, 'we have an opportunity that is unique. If we take advantage of it, we can craft a thing on the coast that is very special.' He went on to charge the group to 'make a difference for future generations' and to create 'significant change, generational change, transformative change.' Finally, he added, 'I want to thank you, but challenge you to take this seriously, attack this with passion' so that we can create a 'blueprint for a level of resilience we’ve never seen before [because] if we do it, our options become limitless'. Governor Riley made me proud to be an Alabamian and showed us all the 'light' at the end of this oil soaked tunnel.
Mobile Baykeeper hopes to be the link combining the Governor’s Commission charge to craft ideas locally for a healthy environment, economy and society. If all of these brilliant environmental, civic, business and community leaders are willing to drop the chains of what hasn’t worked in the past and truly put their best hopes for their children and grandchildren’s future as the goal, we will create a Gulf South whose options truly are limitless."
Casi Callaway is a native Alabamian; for more information, visit their website by clicking here.