Oil spill relief for Venezuela's coastal life

An oil spill in Venezuela has coated a stretch of our nation’s Caribbean coastline, treasured for its white-sand beaches, clusters of small islands, and wildlife.

Fisherman and locals living around Morrocoy National Park began reporting oil washing ashore last week and it has coated roughly 15 kilometres of beaches. The area popular with tourists is located 300 kilometres from the capital of Caracas.

Within the framework of "La Ola Solidaria", the Azul Ambientalistas Foundation and the Venezuelan Surf Federation joined with the mission of cleaning and sanitizing the Venezuelan beaches that today suffer the consequences of oil spills along the Falcón - Puerto Cabello coast which continues to spread throughout the national territory. 

Thaina Fernández, president of the Venezuelan Surf Federation explained that in the middle of a pandemic, another tragedy occurs: the El Palito spill in the outskirts of Morrocoy National Park occurring on August 2nd. 

The oil spill on the eastern beaches of Falcón is in the Boca de Aroa and Tucacas area. The slick is approximately 4 km long and is already on the shore, permanently tarnishing the biodiversity of the park and killing hundreds of species.

The marine currents indicate that if the corresponding sanitation is not carried out, the oil will float towards the West-Leeward with a view to Aruba-Antilles.

"Since the quarantine began, we have not stopped working. We have helped more than 400 families and traveled our coasts cleaning and preserving them, the world is our home, we must take care of it. It is everyone's job," he adds.

The contaminants in crude oil compounds are extremely toxic, which is why they lead to the death of many organisms. Today more than 100 species of invertebrates and algae have died and around 70% of Venezuela's coasts are contaminated in some way due to oil spills next to the refineries.  

"It has been shown that the permanence of oil on the coasts and in aquatic bodies undergoes a progressive degradation process that increases its aggressive impact on ecosystems with a complex ecological impact, which is why we have to take action", said Gustavo Carrasquel Parra, General Director of the Azul Ambientalistas Foundation.

With the support of anonymous heroes and private companies, a campaign was launched here on GoFundMe to buy cleaning materials, protection, food, hydration, among other supplies for the affected brigades and communities.

The supplies that will be bought with the donations in this campaign are: 

- Trash bags to gather the contaminated/deceased plants & animals
-  Shovels and rakes to clean the oil from the beach & soil
-  Food and water for the volunteers
-  Sanitation items for protection (we are still in a pandemic)
-  Boots to walk in the affected areas
-  Sun protection (hats, glasses, sunscreen) 

"The idea is to find a solution at this time, we cannot wait for this to get out of hand and get worse. There is no small contribution, every amount is welcome," added Fernández.

Thank you so much for your support!

@fvsurfvzla
@azulambientalistas

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Organizer

Emiliana Ammirata 
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA
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