2011 Sep 04
On Wings Of Care volunteers are still here in the Gulf and still working for the truth to be told and shown to you, the public. Because ONLY YOU can ensure that federal, state, and local authorities act according to the wisest long-term interests of the Gulf -- the ocean, the coasts and wetlands, and you, its residents. ONLY YOU can ensure that funds from the government and corporations are used wisely and for long-term good.
On Wings Of Care is ready to make more surveillance flights over the Gulf, especially over the areas where we recently showed you (and apparently also BP and the US Coast Guard) where large amounts of fresh oil are continuing to contaminate waters south of Louisiana and Mississippi, both near shore and out to more than 100 miles off shore. Your 'clear blue waters' are far from clear or blue anymore. The 'solution to pollution' is quite evidently NOT 'dilution' (or dispersion), contrary to cute corporate jingles...
On Wings Of Care has tapped all of its savings and that of its primary supporters this past year, primarily to make critical flights and boat sampling missions in the Gulf. We have done this in order that YOU can know the facts and act wisely, despite propaganda from those who want you to believe that the 'Gulf is healed' and 'Gulf seafood is safe.' Of course, we all want that to be true! But it does not appear to be true, and all the lies in the world can't change the facts.
On Wings Of Care volunteers' services to help the Gulf will remain and always will remain free of charge. But we need financial support for the maintenance, repairs, regular servicing, and fuel costs for our aircraft, all of which has averaged us at least $200 per flight hour. Outstandingly generous support has come from Flightline First at New Orleans' Lakefront airport (KNEW), as they have offered discounted fuel, maintenance, and hangar/tiedown rates for us and for other nonprofit efforts to help the Gulf and Gulf residents. Some local residents and environmental groups have made critically helpful donations to help keep us sailing, sampling, flying, and eating; and they have paid to have the samples we collect analyzed by independent labs. But the few of them and us are not enough to continue giving you the surveillance flights that have been needed in order to keep you all accurately informed about what is going on in your waters.
We anticipate flying four to six more missions over the Gulf over the next 10 days. And beginning mid-October, if there is public request and support, we can fly weekly surveillance flights with videographers onboard. Each flight usually takes four or five hours (our airplane can fly for eight hours without stopping, but our videographers aren't always up for that). To do that and to continue to provide surveillance flights through autumn, we'd like to raise $10,000.
All donations are fully tax-deductible, and receipts for tax purposes are always provided. Our tax returns and annual reports are available publicly and on request. You may donate by PayPal or credit card at our website OnWingsOfCare.org, or by credit card, check, or cash to us directly or to our aircraft expense account at Flightline First at Lakefront airport.
To read more about On Wings Of Care and our general mission, click on "About" at our website.
To skilled photographers and videographers: You are most welcome to fly with us with minor donations! The only condition is that moderate-resolution versions of your footage be made available to us for prompt posting to the OnWingsOfCare.org website and sharing with the public media. You will be credited and are of course welcome to copyright your footage and use it for fame and wealth and more help for the Gulf!
All of us who have flown or sailed or worked with On Wings Of Care in the Gulf will forever be haunted by what we've seen since the spring of 2010: an extraordinarily beautiful and diverse coastal, island, and ocean area rich with marine and bird life, suddenly blanketed by toxic crude oil and then washed in chemical dispersants. Imprinted on our memories are visions of animals whose lives were tortured and cut short, plants choked and burned, tide pools turned to metallic rainbows, and gunk on beaches that was shoveled away every night so that it would go unseen by the public during daylight. You were told that all was okay now, that magically, bacteria had eaten all the oil, and now fishing could go on as usual. Watching the public be so duped and disrespected was as horrible a site for us as watching the Gulf be poisoned.
Thank you for helping us help the Gulf.
Bonny Schumaker ("Dr. Bonny"), for all the volunteers and supporters of On Wings Of Care
Above: Large oil slick found this past 2011 August 30, near site of the MC252 "spill" of 2010 April.
Above left: Massive subsurface brown plumes around Breton Sound, 2011 Mar 18 (still there!)
Above right: Mississippi suffered no environmental impact? This photo shot 14 months ago -- that would be a large expanse of oil floating just off shore from Pascagoula.
Above: Over 300 samples collected and tested from the beaches, coastal islands, and offshore waters of Mississippi and Louisiana, with help from Sea Shepherd and other local friends! (Summer and fall 2010, spring and summer 2011.)