Earth Saving News > July 13, 2011

Another spill, another cleanup – and another pipeline?!

Yellowstone Oil SpillAs the 42,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the Yellowstone River this month continue to spread downstream, a unique set of cleanup challenges are cropping up that bring to mind the recent 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster and aftermath. Misleading figures, vague health and safety reports, and limited press access to the spill site all seem painfully familiar.

But the Yellowstone River is a totally different body of water, making for some very different spill conditions than those found in the Gulf. This time of year the waters of the Yellowstone are moving fast because snowmelt and runoff peak in the summer months. All this fast moving water means the booms and pads put in place to absorb oil will be much less effective and that the oil will be disbursed even further away from the initial spill site. And if that wasn’t enough, a larger dispersal makes cleanup strategies like skimming and burning less feasible. The high water levels mean spilled oil is making its way into nearby fields and yards!

Wildlife rescue teams are most concerned about long-term impacts on fish species that spend time in the river’s side streams where a lot of the oil is settling. And while the spill took place downstream of the river’s major trout fishery, the affected region is still home to a key transitional habitat. According to the National Wildlife Federation, “The entire food chain will be impacted in this important ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, proposals are underway for the construction of yet another, much larger pipeline that would carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Texas, crossing numerous states in the U.S. So what would happen if a pipeline like this one ruptured? According to an eye-opening Democracy Now! report, a spill from the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline could leak nearly 1,000,000 gallons over the same timeframe as the Yellowstone spill.

Learn more about the implications of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands project from EarthShare member group, Natural Resources Defense Council, and check out their piece in OnEarth Magazine, “Montana’s Yellowstone River Oil Spill: The Shape of Things to Come?” Don’t agree with this kind of development? Take action by speaking out -- join the movement on

Help EcoTools Give Back: Cast your vote for a beautiful, healthy environment!

EcoTools Gives Back! Starting Wednesday, July 13th, you can help your favorite environmental cause win a share of a generous gift in the EcoTools Gives Back Campaign!

EcoTools, a leader in eco-conscious beauty products, is all about getting gorgeous, going green, and giving back. Three EarthShare member charities will receive their donation, but it's up to YOU to decide who receives the most. You can vote starting July 13 - July 27, 2011 on the EcoTools website and the EcoTools Facebook page. Your vote will make a difference, and you can vote up to five times per day. Don't forget to tell your friends, too!

Each vote you cast will help fund the work of three great groups that protect our oceans, wildlife, and land and green spaces. Learn more about these organizations below, and then make sure to start casting votes for the cause that means the most to you!

Beautiful Water – Ocean Conservancy
A clean planet starts with a clean ocean. It provides us with food to eat, water to drink, and oxygen to breathe; and it regulates our climate. It creates countless jobs and fuels prosperity. Whether we live on a beach or far from the coastline, we all have a profound stake in the health of our ocean. Right now, our ocean is in trouble. A sea change can return the ocean to health. Ocean Conservancy believes it's time to look beneath the surface to see where the health of our planet really begins. It’s time to recognize the source that sustains us day to day with the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we discover that all living things are connected to the ocean.

Beautiful Wildlife – The Jane Goodall Institute
At the beginning of the 20th century, more than one million chimpanzees roamed the African forests. Today, scientists estimate there are perhaps as few as 300,000 chimpanzees left. Today, protecting chimpanzees is at the heart of the Jane Goodall Institute’s work, reflecting Dr. Goodall’s historic legacy. The Jane Goodall Institute addresses this goal through community-centered conservation—partnering with communities to develop sustainable livelihoods, establish and manage protected areas, and to create environmental land-use plans. The Institute also engages young people of all ages through its international environmental and humanitarian youth program, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. Roots & Shoots is about making positive change happen—for communities, for animals and for the environment.

Beautiful Places – The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund protects your favorite places -- from the park down the street, to the forests and fields, and even the water's edge. From sweeping tracts of wilderness to popular fishing spots and city parks, The Conservation Fund works to save America's outdoors so future generations can enjoy nature as we do today. The Fund’s restoration work includes planting trees, green infrastructure planning and cleaning up watersheds. By renewing these natural resources, ecosystems will begin to flourish, people will have recreation spaces and wildlife will have room to roam. What happens 50 miles—or 500 miles—away impacts the quality of your air and water, the food you buy, the history or adventures you can experience and more. That's why conservation matters—in every community. 


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