Our Toxic Waters: Eco-Disaster – 7 Barges Carrying Coal Sink Into Ohio River

by Nicole Wines

On Christmas Day, fifteen barges carrying coal that were being pulled by a tugboat came loose after the towboat hit a bridge spanning the river. Since that day, seven barges have sunk, the most recent happening just two days ago. We are sharing about this incident, as we share many environmental disaster situations to bring attention to the dangers of transportation of fossil fuels, and to fuel our own fires for getting OFF fossil fuels quickly and for good.

Because of this single incident, TONS of coal are sitting at the bottom of the Ohio River, which can cause lasting problems, damage and repercussions. According to WTRB.com,

“I think you could see some fish species that are driven away from it just because it is the introduction of a new substance into the river, and it disrupts their normal behavior,” said Flickner, director of the environmental group Lower Ohio Valley Waterkeeper.

Flickner said since the coal is in solid rock form, the biggest impact will not be on water quality but to life that exists on the riverbed itself.

“You’ve got all kinds of mussel species that you’re now introducing a whole bunch of coal that has never been there before,” he said. “Those mussel species are going to be impacted by this crash.”

Flickner said it is fortunate the barges do not contain more hazardous materials. He said the company responsible must pay not just to raise the barges but fix the damage to the river.

“There needs to be an assessment and mitigation for any damage to the habitat of the Ohio River,” Flickner said.

If we are to have a future on this planet, we have to relearn how to respect our lands, our waters, our air and all of the creatures of Mother Earth. We must find alternatives that leave our home planet cleaner, greener, more resilient and more just for the generations that are to come. We must center the Earth in our decisions, both business and personal, and become an EcoCentric society where incidents like this are no longer commonplace but unacceptable instead!

Support and seek out renewables. Divest from fossil fuels. Kill the Black Snake. #WaterIsLife #WaterIsLiving

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