Gumbo for Gulf: House Parties Cook Up Response to Gulf Disaster

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Heather Emmert, 504-861-4427
John Rumpler
, 617-747-4306
Kimberly Larson
, 206-388-8674

Gumbo for Gulf: House Parties Cook Up Response to Gulf Disaster

WASHINGTON - Like many others seeing the images of oil-covered birds and dead
turtles washing ashore in the Gulf, Leslie Rennie from Beloit, WI felt
helpless.  Gumbo for the Gulf, a unique fundraiser launched by
Environment America, gave her an easy way to make a difference.

“It was a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to a
gathering to support others and have fun in the process,” said Rennie. 

To offer concerned citizens like Rennie a way to respond to the more
than two-month old disaster in the Gulf, Environment America has
launched an effort called Gumbo for the Gulf.  Concerned citizens in 28
states have signed up to host over 150 houseparty fundraisers, which
started in mid-June, to benefit Environment America’s effort to address
the BP oil catastrophe and help prevent future ones.  Over the 4th of
July weekend, there will be events in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida,
Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and
Washington. 

Renowned New Orleans chefs Susan Spicer and John Besh spiced up the
effort by lending gumbo recipes to the party hosts. Chef and author
Anthony Bourdain will soon record a video to promote the effort.  The
cast of the TBS show Dinner and a Movie made a public service
announcement promoting the effort.  

"Let's do right by New Orleans this time around. There's no more
uniquely American city," said Bourdain regarding Environment America’s
Gumbo for Gulf effort.

Environment America is working to permanently protect America’s
shores from new oil drilling. Environment America will use the funds
to: raise awareness about the oil disaster, hold BP accountable for
every cent of the clean up and prevent this from ever happening again.
 Environment America will also work with local groups to bring food to
the affected communities in the Gulf.  Recently, Environment America,
the Gulf Restoration Network and Louisiana Environmental Action Network
announced their intent to file suit against BP under the Clean Water
Act. Environment America also criticized the recent Department of
Interior decision to grant a new drilling permit to Bandon Oil and Gas
for a well fifty miles off the coast of Louisiana in shallow water
approximately 120 feet deep.  

“With the Gulf spill now the biggest environmental disaster in U.S.
history, Gumbo for the Gulf presents an opportunity for citizens across
the country to show their solidarity with the people of the Gulf
region, raise awareness about the disaster and raise funds to help Gulf
families and to support Environment America,” said Heather Emmert, Gulf
States Field Organizer for Environment America.  “The Gumbo for the
Gulf parties offer a way for anyone to lend support through dollars and
political action.”

Gumbo for the Gulf houseparty organizers asked attendees to sign
petitions to President Obama as well as make a contribution to support
the group’s efforts to protect the coasts.  At the events, attendees
also viewed a Gulf disaster video by actress Amy Smart and hosts uploaded pictures of their events to http://www.flickr.com/groups/gumboforthegulf.

Citizens can contribute to the effort without holding a party by visiting the organization’s webpage.

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Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Our professional staff in 27 states and Washington, D.C., combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for the environment. Environment America draws on 30 years of success in tackling environmental problems.

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