in a small Louisiana town, hitched a ride with a fisherman into the Gulf
of Mexico to see for herself the damage caused by one of the largest
environmental disasters in U.S. history. As they pushed farther out
from shore, Foytlin started to notice gooey brown sludge bubbling up
along the surface of the ocean, and then she saw something that changed
the course of her life: a pelican, covered in oil, gasping for its life. Foytlin
yanked the bird from the water, and it died in her arms.
the sidelines any longer," Foytlin says. As the wife of an oil worker who
has spent most of the last decade on the Gulf Coast, Foytlin speaks from
a position of authority, noting that for all the money Big Oil sops up every
year, precious little ends up in the communities that are the backbone of
the industry. "We're a battered woman that keeps going back to the aggressor,"
Foytlin says. "We still have oil in our marshes, fishermen are out of work
and it seems like everyone knows someone with cancer. It's time to take the
blinders off and see what this industry is doing to us."