Water World looks at oil spill impact

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The oil may have stopped pouring into the Gulf, but the impact is far from over.  The Water World exhibit at the Mary C. O' Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs was created to drive that point home.

"We don't know, as they say, what lies beneath the water," USM history professor Deanne Nuwer said. "This could be something that for two or three generations.  We don't know this, we've never faced anything like this as a catastrophe."

Young high school artists displayed their wares, art created with the oil spill in mind. Some of the pieces used oiled articles found on our shores.

"I think it was really interesting for us to be able to express what happened with the oil spill by actually going out onto our local beaches and collecting items from the beach," artist Ashley Noblin said.

The BP oil spill had a major impact on the coast's seafood industry. And one segment of the population hit hardest by the failure of that industry was the Vietnamese.  A Vietnamese cooking demonstration featured Gulf seafood, and was overseen by Angel Truong of Asian Americans for Change.  Her take on the spill was very much to the point.

"How did the oil spill impact our life? It impacted what we ate and we eat to live," Truong said.

A film created by USM students depicted life on the water after the spill. But perhaps the greatest mission of Water World was a simple reminder to everyone who lives on the coast.

"Just because it's been capped and we don't see the stuff on the beaches any longer is not good enough," said Barbara Carpenter with the Mississippi Humanities Council. "The long term implications of this for the environment, for the economy, for people's lives in every way is unknown at this point."

The Humanities Council hopes to continue this informational series on an annual basis.

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