Riki Ott

Riki Ott, PhD is a Marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor. Her latest book, Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez is on social trauma of this disaster. She is a co-founder of Ultimate Civics, a project of Earth Island Institute.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Unfinished Business: The Unspoken Link Between Dispersants and Sick Children in the Gulf of Mexico
All six of Julie Creppel's young children are sick. Vomiting. Blisters all over their bodies, even in their throats. Boils. Severe headaches that wake them up screaming at night. Nausea. Fevers. Diarrhea. Stomach spasms that contort their bodies in pain. Skin lesions. Psoriasis. Nose bleeds that gush unexpectedly. Respiratory infections. Dizziness. Sinus infections. Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Hair loss. And more.
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Saturday, April 21, 2012
"Making It Right" After BP Oil Disaster Is Up to Us - Not BP
Grand Isle, Louisiana. When I returned to Cordova, Alaska, in December 2010 after my first six-month stint in the Gulf coast communities impacted by the BP oil disaster, fishermen greeted me wryly. "See you found your way home."
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Thursday, June 09, 2011
Lots of Inconvenient Truths -- Chemical Illness Epidemic in the Wake of the BP Blowout
Recently Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing the $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility to "make it right" for people harmed by the British Petroleum oil blowout disaster, told a Louisiana House and Senate committee that he had not seen any claims , or any scientific evidence, linking BP's oil and dispersant release to chemical illnesses.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Diary of a Disaster: 6 Months in the Gulf
America awoke the morning of April 21 to learn that BP's well, the Deepwater Horizon, had blown out in the Gulf of Mexico and was on fire. Eleven men were dead. BP began dumping dispersants (toxic chemicals that sink oil) into the Gulf and lies into the media.
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Friday, September 17, 2010
Bio-Remediation or Bio-Hazard? Dispersants, Bacteria & Illness in the Gulf
OCEAN SPRINGS, AL -- A grandmother made me rethink all the bio-remediation hype. The "naturally-occurring oil-eating bacteria " have been newsworthy of late as they are supposedly going to come to the rescue of President Obama and BP and make good on their very premature statement that "the oil is gone."
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Oilgate! BP and All the President's Men (Except One) Seek to Contain Truth of Leak in the Gulf
BARATARIA, LA -- Bonnie Schumaker slowed her souped-up Cessna 180 from 130 to 50 knots so I could hold open the window for documentary film producer Bo Bodart to shoot the grim scene below us. The oil-laced air rushed in and stung our throats and eyes.
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010
The Big Lie: BP, Governments Downplay Public Health Risk From Oil and Dispersants
PENSACOLA BEACH, Florida -- When Ryan Heffernan, a volunteer with Emerald Coastkeeper, noticed a bag of oily debris floating off in Santa Rosa Sound, she ran up to BP's HazMat-trained workers to ask if they would retrieve it. "No, ma'am," one replied politely. "We can't go in the ocean. It's contaminated."
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Friday, June 11, 2010
From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence
Orange Beach, Alabama -- While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf. Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010
Human Health Tragedy in the Making: Gulf Response Failing to Protect People
GRAND BAYOU, Louisiana -- The federal agencies delegated with protecting the environment, worker safety, and public health are in hot water in the small coastal communities across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
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Friday, May 14, 2010
All Hands on Deck: What Can You Do About the Gulf Oil Spill?
In the southern marshes and swamplands of Louisiana, local fishermen refer to BP as "Bayou Polluter"-and that was before the April 20 blowout of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig operated by the oil giant. Fishermen say BP spills oil every year and they point out marshes still dead from dispersants that were sprayed there. If President Obama has a say, BP will stand for "Better Pay" for the environmental and economic damages that will stem from the uncontrolled leak, likely at 20,000 barrels (840,000 gallons) a day, according to satellite imagery.
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