Riki Ott PhD and Dr. Steve Picou to speak about the health and social effects of oil spills.
Tues. July 6 – 7pm
5 Rivers, Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL 36527 (entrance is across from Meaher State Park on the Mobile Bay Causeway).
The July 6th meeting of the Mobile Bay Group Sierra Club will feature a program with discussion by Dr. J. Steven Picou, a Professor of Sociology at the University of South Alabama, and marine toxicologist Dr. Riki Ott.
Picou is currently working on the human response to the BP oil catastrophe. He has studied the social fallout from Hurricane Katrina, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, and other man-made and “technological” disasters. Dr. Picou draws a sharp distinction between natural and technological events. The drawn out recovery period and the uncertainty that comes with it make technological disasters much more threatening to the health and welfare of the affected people and communities.
Riki Ott, PhD, is a community activist, a former commercial salmon fisher, and has a degree in marine toxicology with a specialty in oil pollution. She experienced firsthand the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill—and chose to do something about it. She emphasizes the effects of oil and dispersants on human health, wildlife, and the environment. She is the author of Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and Not One Drop: Promises, Betrayal, and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (Chelsea Green, 2008). Dr. Ott is also the founder of three nonprofit organizations that deal with lingering harm from man-made environmental disaster.
Dr. Picou and Dr. Ott have spent the last several weeks traveling throughout the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal regions, speaking to communities, agencies, and relief workers. They will be talking about what we can do to help our community cope with the unfolding tragedy, and how local citizens can make informed decisions about their community’s future.