by Liz Kazal
Mississippi students are standing up to Big Polluters and participating in several events to stand in solidarity with the 12 Mile South and Gulf Restoration Network to say NO to opening Mississippi Gulf waters to oil and natural gas drilling. 12 Mile South, a coalition of organizations on the MS Gulf Coast, was created after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in response to the potential of the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) opening up the gulf waters for leasing to oil and natural gas companies. What was thought to be a closed issue, now the coalition is once again rallying community and statewide opposition to the leasing. This Saturday, August 4, MASS will join coast residents for Hands Across the Sand, a national day of unity to raise awareness about the consequences of offshore drilling. We are moving beyond our campuses to show that the fight for a renewable energy future is not just the expansion of clean, renewable energy, but also the opposition to new, existing, or expanding dirty energy. We are standing up for Mississippi’s clean energy future. Spread the word! Stand in solidarity with the Gulf! For more information about the event, check out the Facebook event.
Not only are students saying NO to Big Polluters, but they are also saying YES to a clean, green, sustainable future for our state. Yesterday in our state’s capitol, public officials, business owners, community members, and MASS joined together to learn and discuss how to make Jackson a green space. The main focus of the “Greening Fondren” conference was on urban forests and how to bring greenery into urban planning. It was exciting to see so many people in the same room with the same goal in mind: to make Jackson a more sustainable place. If we are going to push for a sustainable energy future for Mississippi, our state’s capitol must lead as an example! The conference was focused on improving the Fondren area of Jackson. Fondren, once a dying part of the city, has been revitalized and now is home to lots of young people, cyclists, a local food movement, and a drive to improve the city. Just being in this area of the city gives me hope for our capitol city. Over the last decade Jackson has seen a steady decrease in population of the city and an exponential increase in sprawl surrounding the city. Therefore, it is conferences like this one that showcase the energy, excitement, and commitment that this community has to make Fondren an example of what Mississippi can do for our environment.
Mississippi students are taking a stand for clean energy and sustainability in Mississippi. Together, we are fighting dirty energy expansion and pushing forward for sustainable communities!