As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m in Louisiana this week trying to get a handle on the community reaction to the BP oil disaster. Let me tell you, it’s a mess down here.

But I think documenting the stories of the various families affected by this tragedy is a major step in providing them with relief. I’m working hard to meet with as many people as I can, but I need your help to be sure I make the most of my time down here.

Below is an email I sent out today about my work in Louisiana. If you’d like to make a contribution in support of my coverage of the fall out in Louisiana, please click here.



I just got to Louisiana to see the BP disaster for myself.

It ain’t pretty so far. Already it’s clear to me that the people of Louisiana are desperate and frustrated at yet another disaster, and yet another inadequate response. The damage here from BP’s disaster will last for years to come.

I’m here to tell the stories of those directly affected by the spill: Louisiana’s fishermen. They are distraught. Their whole livelihoods are at stake. But I’m going to need your help to tell the story, too.

Can you donate today to help me document the fall out of the BP oil disaster? Here’s how you can help:

  • $20 will buy a meal with a fisherman to hear his story
  • $50 will fix the flat tire I got last night so I can drive to the coast
  • $100 will give a fisherman a video camera to document pelican rescues
  • $150 will allow me to take a boat out to see the oil at sea for myself

Click here to donate to help me cover the BP oil disaster in Louisiana.

Firedoglake has been at the forefront of the BP oil disaster since the Deepwater Horizon first exploded more than a month ago. We publish at least a dozen new stories and video reports every day about the oil disaster

Keith Olbermann even credited Firedoglake for first reporting the existence of underwater oil plumes that will threaten the Gulf’s ecosystems for years to come. But I think we can do more than report from afar, which is why I’ve made my way to Louisiana to see what else we can do to help.

In the 24 hours I’ve been here, I’ve already uncovered some shocking stories about Louisiana’s fishermen. Just as these coastal communities were getting back on their feet from Katrina, they’ve been knocked down again by BP’s negligence and irresponsibility.  So many fishermen have been contemplating suicide as a result of this catastrophe that suicide hotlines have been established throughout the state.

We need to tell the stories of these fishermen, and I’m here to do it. Can you donate today to help? Click here to donate:

Locals are preparing to take matters into their own hands and away from BP. Frustrated that BP is literally paying fishermen to do nothing, local fishermen are organizing to stop the oil from polluting the shores on their own. Some are even taking care of orphaned pelicans in defiance of BP’s orders.

We can’t trust BP or the media to accurately report all angles of this calamity, so I’m going to make it my duty to share the community’s stories and make sure their voices are heard. We’ve already done a lot, but with your help, we can do so much more.

We need to share the plight of the Louisiana fishing community with the rest of the world so that everyone knows how badly they need help. They are as much victims of this spill as the Gulf wildlife they depend on.

Please donate $20, $50 or more to help me cover the BP oil disaster this week.

With your help, we can give these fishermen a voice and bring attention– and hopefully some relief– in these tough times,

Thanks for all you do.

Michael Whitney