by Ashton Goodell
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Two Alaskans recently returned from a trip to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. They've seen the oil spill devastation first hand in Prince William Sound and now the Gulf of Mexico. Joe Banta and Patience Andersen Faulkner were there to help victims of the nation's worst oil spill disaster.
Both came back from the Gulf with similar experiences and observations about the spill. They went through the same things during the Exxon Valdez disaster.
Faulkner witnessed the effects of the disaster not only to fisheries, but to the mental health of the people.
Faulkner spent eight days in the Gulf to help communities come up with a response plan. She told families to find time to talk about what they're feeling.
After Exxon Valdez she heard about so many suicides and mental health problems.
"We can do something about the fisheries in time but it's the people that matter the most that's the most fragile," said Faulkner.