Thursday, April 28, 2011

John Wathen's Footage of the F-5 Tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

In Johns own words:

"A strong F-5 tornado struck Tuscaloosa yesterday. As always Your Hurricane CREEKKEEPER documented the event.

I watched as Hurricane Creek vaporized and came up the hill as a huge fog bank. I have been to a couple of state fairs and one hog breeding and I have never seen anything like this in my life."

Alabama Storms Devastate Hurricane Creekkeeper's Home/Office. Please Help.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dear Waterkeeper Alliance Family,

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, the home and office of your Hurricane Creekkeeper, John Wathen, took a direct hit from a category F4/F5 tornado. John is physically okay, but his residence and workplace were heavily damaged. Some of his nearby relatives lost their home entirely. The tornado was generated by the same storm system that devastated many areas of the South yesterday and, as of this morning, has killed 173 people—at least 120 of those victims were in John's home state of Alabama.

Much of John's computer and photographic equipment was destroyed by the tornado. If you know anything about John, you know thatphotography and videography lay at the heart of what he does to protect clean water every day of his life. He's been there, on the scene, snapping photos and showing the world the truth about the 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority ash pond disaster and the 2010 BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, John recently won a prestigious 2011 Roosevelt-Ashe Society Conservation Award for his reporting on Gulf oil disaster events.

In this time of great need, we ask you humbly to help us help John rebuild. Waterkeeper Alliance is helping collect online monetary donations that will be passed directly to Hurricane Creekkeeper in order to speed John’s recovery. Click the link below to donate online right now. Please remember to designate your gift on your donation form as Hurricane Creekkeeper Tornado Disaster Recovery where you see the Gift Designation field.

Please select Hurricane Creekkeeper Tornado Disaster Recovery
as the gift designation on your donation form.

To send gifts by mail, please write to:

Waterkeeper Alliance
ATTN: Tornado Recovery
17 Battery Place
Ste. 1329
New York, NY 10004

(Please do not send credit card information through the mail.)

To phone in your gift, please call 212.747.0622 ext. 30.

Thank you for your support.


Your friends at Waterkeeper Alliance
The voice of the world's waters.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Come one, come all! Don't miss this event on the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster! Bring a guitar of value to be signed by the artists to raise funds for the people sickened by this tragedy. Events being held along the Gulf Coast at The Shed BBQ locations too in case you can't be in New Orleans. Please share this link. Join us after the Summit Meetings!

Tipitina’s French Quarter location, Shed BBQ & Blues Joints across the Gulf Coast, and venues around the country are throwing concerts to honor the 11 that died in the explosion & help the Louisiana Environmental Action Network get symptom sheets to folks that have fallen ill from exposure to oil and the record amounts of dispersants sprayed in Gulf waters. Here are the events we have planned. Please let people know how they can be part of the Solution to Pollution. We are asking folks to donate guitars of some value. These instruments will be signed by artists & all the money collected from their sale and proceeds will help Louisiana Environmental Action Network continue to help those sick from toxic conditions in the Gulf and Louisiana artists finish the Solution to Pollution project.

New Orleans events on 4/20
-5PM Future of the Gulf Town Hall Meeting 5PM- 7:30 Upstairs @ Tipitina’s French Quarter
-6PM Free Show/Press Conference @ the Louisiana Music Factory with Drew Landry (acoustic)
-6:45PM SECONDLINE FOR THE GULF leaves from the Louisiana Music Factory
Rev. Goat Carson’s 2nd Line w/ the Kinfolk Brass Band Mardi Gras Indians/Native Americans… Fi Yi Yi, Dancing Man 504, The Grayhawk Band, and many more roll into Tipitina’s in the Quarter at 7:30
-7:30PM THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION CONCERT w/ Dr. John, The Treater Band, Drew Landry, Shannon McNally & the entire Second Line.

The ‘Solution to Pollution Project’ was Bobby Charles’ vision for introducing children at an early age to sustainability through music and environmental lesson plans. “Bobby Charles left behind some of the best songs of all time, but his real passion was the three song tape & lesson plan he created called ‘Solution to Pollution’,” said Louisiana singer/songwriter Drew Landry. Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, a lifelong friend of Bobby Charles, believes the deep water disaster can be a catalyst for changing the way we treat our planet. Mac decided it was time to bring back the ‘Solution to Pollution’ and Wish Nails donated time for the Project at Dockside Studio where Bobby recorded the original Solution to Pollution EP. Louisiana musicians will showcase some of these songs at the one-year spill memorial concert.

A five song EP featuring Dr. John singing the songs of Bobby Charles & Drew Landry along with many other Gulf Coast musicians will be available at the concert and for sale at the Louisiana Music Factory. Funds collected at the concert and from the Deep Water Memorial EP will go toward completing a full-length album and implementing Bobby Charles’ environmental ideas and a few of our own in local communities.

Advance tickets $25 available at, or $30 tickets at the door.


On the one year memorial of the worst man-made environmental disaster in our nation’s history, coastal residents are coming together to honor the 11 men that died & those that fought to protect our coast. We also must chart a course to deal with the long-term environmental & health impacts from last year’s spill. Restoring the health & fragile ecosystem of the Gulf will be no easy task, but people here deserve a voice in their own recovery. We have some serious issues to address, but who says we can’t have a good time doing it?

233 N Peters St, New Orleans, Louisiana – (504) 566-7095

There will be a Town Hall meeting in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Leadership Forum from 5-7:30 PM. This event will be upstairs at the French Quarter location. The mission is to give a voice to the thousands of coastal residents and cleanup workers who have fallen ill since the deep water explosion.

We will address the long-term recovery of the Gulf and inform the public on the current condition of coastal communities. Many residents and their children have come down with severe health problems since they started working and living in toxic conditions. So far, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. To date, the best our federal and state governments have done is provide a phone number from CDC & a 10-year study that ‘might’ start soon.

Much like the 9/11 first responders, many of those who were on the front lines of the oil disaster and rose to the challenge to protect and clean our wetlands now suffer chronic heath issues. There is little doubt their conditions will worsen over the years to come. This is unacceptable; the lives of coastal citizens and clean up workers must not be a “trade off”. When James Carville said, “We’re dying down here”, few thought about the long term effects of oil & the dispersant COREXIT. It’s time to see if our elected officials care more about the health of their people that live the coast and those who risk their lives to clean this mess than multinational companies that profit from our existence. The truth is we can’t wait for thousands to pass before we get a bill that takes care of our own first responders. The sick include our commercial fishermen on the VOO program, clean up workers, and coastal citizens who frequent beaches and live on the water.

Sick residents and clean up workers get in the town hall free (rsvp to: For others, there is a suggested $10 donation that will go to LEAN who has been tracking the symptom of the countless residents who have fallen ill. We also hope to raise $1,200 for Mr. Clayton Matherne for his basic needs and housing. Like many, his medical condition has not allowed him to work since being exposed to the dispersant COREXIT.

We are proud this panel will represent the concerns of coastal citizens in the Gulf Coast Leadership Forum & Cherri Foytlin will personally invite our senators & congressmen to listen to the voices of the people they represent. For more info on Symptom Sheets & independent testing results in the Gulf please visit . For press inquiries or details on events please email

Clayton Matherne from Blackbird Media on Vimeo.

Tipitina’s schedule:
5:00 pm – “What Happened to the National Media?”, Rocky Kistner, NRDC, and Lessons from the Past: EXXON VALDEZ Valdez, Dr. Riki Ott, author, Sound Truths and Corporate Myths
5:30 pm - Our first responders & coastal citizens will address their health issues & the impacts from Dispersants, Clayton Matherne/Lori Williams/and Cpt Louis Bayhi
6:00 pm – State of the Gulf: Conditions on the Ground one year later/Claims Process
Al Walker, Billy Nunguesser, Grace Scire
6:30 pm - Roots of the regional citizens oversight committee-
How to get involved? Weeks Bay Agreement/Lessons learned in DC visit/Powershift
Aaron , GRN/ Cherri Foytlin/Derek Evans, Gulf Coast Fund/Turkey Creek
7:00 pm – Where we go from here? – Helping the SICK with Dr. Mike Robichaux, Dr. Wilma Subra, Mary Lee Orr
7:30 pm – Second line/Solution to Pollution grand entrance – Citizens will be able to meet with leaders from the forum & work on Solutions together- Films follow from coastal residents & LEAN
8 pm – Upstairs reception w/ Sasafrass, Art, and pics from the spill.


*Restore the Gulf: Direct 80% of BP’s Clean Water Act fines toward Gulf Coast recovery and restoration

*Provide Health Care Now: Create accessible health care and testing to address the growing health crisis on the Gulf Coast.

*Give Communities Control: Establish a Regional Citizens Advisory Council to provide long overdue, locally informed oversight of the oil industry.

Shed Shows and Water keepers to support in those areas… Bring a Guitar & buy some BBQ

SCOTT, La. – MUSIC BY Mitch Red & Citizens Band, Bro Dege Legg, & Jake Stevens. It’s a membership drive for Basin Keeper Dean Wilson & Greg Guirard will be there to sign copies of his latest book Atchafalaya Autumn II.

GULFPORT, Ms.- Delta Reign- Bluegrass & Sweet Fritzi Presley

MOBILE, AL Host an All-star line up…Ryan Balthrop and his Bowling Buddies**9 Volts and Thunderbolts featuring Brett LaGrave**The Gregg Fells Band
And the headliner GRAYSON CAPPS along with John Milham and Nick Branch!!!

A Press Conference from Artist and Activists @ the Louisiana Music Factory will be part of the release of the Solution to Pollution EP & short set of songs from a few Gulf Coast artists working on the project will happen at 6PM Followed by a SECOND line that will leave Decatur street at 6:45PM

DEEP WATER MEMORIAL SECONDLINE – to remember the lives lost on 4/20

DR. JOHN, THE TREATER BAND, DREW LANDRY, SHANNON MCNALLY, AND THE ENTIRE SECOND LINE will perform tunes of their own & music and many songs inspired by the spill and a few the late great Bobby Charles wrote for the Solution to Pollution. Attached is a song from Dr. John about the health affects of the spill. The release of the Bobby Charles’ inspired Solution to Pollution EP will raise money to finish the full album. We must unite those who care about the future, ensure care for the sick on the coast, prepare for the next spill, and further the push for clean air & water.

LEAN, Gulf Fund & will also be helping to provide support for the Guitars for the Gulf program. The ask is for guitars of some value to be donated at one of these events. Instruments will be signed by artist and proceeds from their sale will be split between developing the Solution to Pollution Project & long-term testing of our waters, wildlife and people.

As you know, Cherri Foytlin walked to Washington, DC, in hopes of talking with President Obama about the health issues of coastal citizens. She will be finishing her walk with college students from all over the country at Powershift by walking to BP’s office in DC to deliver to them a bill for the $9.9 billion they are receiving from the American people in tax deductions for the spill & then continuing up to Capitol Hill to ask the elected officials from gulf coast states to hear the voices of the coastal citizens & clean up workers who all face an uncertain future. It was bad enough that our commander in chief balked at addressing the long-term effects of the spill in his State of the Union address, but it is unthinkable that on the one-year mark of the worst man-made disaster in US history, our president is thinking only about restarting his re-election campaign with a facebook town hall meeting about the economy. Please voice your concerns about the future of the Gulf Coast at this meeting.

Mississippi residents will gather together to remember the workers who lost their lives, share stories about how this tragedy has affected them, and speak with one voice to tell our leaders that now is the time for action to make the Gulf coast and it communities whole once again and prevent future oil disasters. Lighthouse Fishing Dock, north end of Lee Street, Biloxi, MS (just north of the intersection of Bayview Avenue and Lee Street) For more information, contact Raleigh Hoke at or 504-525-1528, ext. 204.

Karen Hopkins is organizing Memorial in Grand Isle. What has become Ground Zero for graphic pictures of oiled beaches is also host to many great activist & people that have done great work throughout the spill. Join the Sierra Club & the good people of Grand isle for daytime events at the Grounds of the Grand Isle Medical Clinic 108 Willow Ln Grand Isle, LA 70358 Corner of La. 1 and Willow LaneGrand Isle, LA

The House of Blues… Music by the great Tab Benoit & Voice of the Wetlands and the Kevin Costner Band. Organizer Jerry Cope promises the likes of Brad Pitt & Daryl Hanna and will raise money with the goal of starting two health clinics. Tickets are $50 & 1,000 for VIPS..

I got a call from concerned citizens in Atlantic City who were friends of Dr. John & wanted to do their part…..Eddie Morgan and REK’D 4 JAZZ will jam from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Wash’s Inn, 128 N. New Road, Pleasantville, NJ for a $10 cover charge. Patrons will have the opportunity to learn more about the ongoing oil tragedy, donate to the cause, and win some fabulous jazz related door prizes according to local author Sandy Warren who has helped raise money for Gulf aid the past year. For table reservations and more information, call 609-992-6728.

About Dirty Cajuns

The Dirty Cajuns are a group of people really concerned about the affects of the BP Oil Spill. We want to engage with our community by providing information and documentation of what is happening to our home – as fishermen, wildlife experts, just as people who care – through the form of words, videos, sounds, and photos. If you would like to be a part of what we are doing, email gulfchange at gmail dot com.