Conservation Stories: Patagonia Stepping It Up In The Gulf


 The work at Conservation Alliance wouldn't be possible without all of our outdoor industry brand members. But a lot of them aren't only involved with Conservation Alliance; many of our member brands are committed to a diverse variety of environmental causes. Every Thursday we'll be featuring a cross-post from one of our member companies to highlight the causes that they're active in.



Companies across the country are taking action in response to the devastating oil. The gulf may not be in your backyard, but this spill is going to have widespread affects, and it's going to take a widespread, communal effort to move forward in a positive direction. Patagonia stepped up to the plate this week in aiding in that effort, announcing that it would send up to 10 employees per week to Louisiana to work on spill restoration.

From Patagonia:

Hole in the Ocean
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010, it opened what one songwriter called a “Hole in the Ocean,” and led to what is today the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. From that deepwater hole some 52 miles off the Louisiana coast flows an estimated 25,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day. Tapped by BP to help meet the needs of a nation addicted to oil, the oil has found its way into the water column, up to the water’s surface, onto the beach and even into the air. Despite efforts to stop the sub-sea gusher and contain, burn or disperse the oil, it has defied us. Marine life is poisoned, local economies ruined and the Gulf indelibly smeared with a black tar brush.

Today, more than two months after that hole in the ocean was inadvertently opened, the oil still flows, leaving many people disempowered and feeling helpless. But there are things we can do, not only to deal with the crisis at hand but more important, to make sure this disaster never, never happens again.

At Patagonia, this is how we are taking action.

Emergency Funding
We have given $100,000 to environmental organizations with whom we have longstanding relationships who are working directly in the coastal areas and communities affected by the disaster: Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Skytruth, Southwings, Gulf Restoration Network, Save Our Gulf: Gulf Waterkeepers and the Gulf Coast Fund.

Increased Employee Match
We have increased our employee match program at a 2-1 rate to further assist those nonprofit environmental groups. If a Patagonia employee gives $100, Patagonia will give $200.

Employee Volunteers
In mid-July, we started sending up to 10 employees per week to Louisiana to work with a longtime environmental partner, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The group is creating an Oil Spill Crisis Map, and our employees are helping to gather information, stories and photographs in communities where oil has reached the shoreline and impacted wildlife. All of this information is being uploaded into the map – a living document that speaks to the environmental and health effects of the spill. It will serve as an open source of information that shows NGOs, governmental agencies, state and local wildlife agencies and the general public where help is needed most. Patagonia employees are being paid their regular salaries and have all expenses paid while they are in the Gulf region.

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