Just a Few Sierra Club Outings Next Month.

check the outings page for the full listing!

Cahaba Group

Sat. July 3. Come on this hike and see one of the great wilderness areas we have here in Alabama. we will do some creek walking and swim in some falls in a pretty area of Alabama. wear sturdy shoes and clothes you can get wet and bring a float to slide on the falls, lunch, water, sun lotion, bug spray (just in case) and dry clothes you can wear home. we will go for an optional dinner after the hike in Double Springs Ala. meet at the Park and Ride at exit 284 off I 65 north of BHM at 08:30. this will be rated moderate due to the water walking. we will take our time and stay cool in the mountain streams. call ken hyche at 205-540-3930 or email kennethhyche@yahoo.com for more info. we can meet anyone who lives in north Ala at Double Springs, call or email for the time.

Coosa Valley Group

Folks are becoming more and more interested in eating healthy, local food. Join us for this fun outing and learn more about accessing and preparing locally grown produce. Make your reservations now to make sure you have a place! We'll leave at 7:00 am and go to McEwen's Mill (www.mcewenandsons.com) in Wilsonville where they grind their own stone-ground organic grits and cornmeal. From there, we will go to Petals from the Past (www.petalsfromthepast.com) to participate in a local foods cooking class at 10:30. Chef Chris Hastings of the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham will demonstrate some of his techniques using fresh produce from the garden ($20 cost). Following lunch, we'll be able to see the vast array of heirloom plants at Petals from the Past. On the way home, we can stop at Morgan Creek Vineyards (www.morgancreekwinery.com) if the group so chooses. Call Petals from the Past 205-646-0069 to make your reservation for the cooking class; call Peggie at 256-538-9444 for more information or to sign up for the outing.

Montgomery Group

Sat. 7/17. Canoeing the Little Escambia: Cool water on a hot summer day! 08 a.m. Prattville Target Highway 65: Exit 179 Moderate

Don’t miss our Monthly Meetings! The second Thursday of each month at the:
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
6610 Vaughn Road
Montgomery, AL 36116
(334) 272-6152

North Alabama Group

Saturday, July 17 – Waterfalls & Swimming Holes. Easy.
Explore and enjoy popular “wet” locations on the Cumberland Plateau near Tracy City, TN. Most participants swim at each location so bring appropriate gear needed. This trip was a big hit last summer so we are doing it again! Please bring lunch, water, daypack, swimming gear, hiking shoes, and camera. Total hiking mileage should be less than 5 miles. Meet at the Publix in Hampton Cove at 8:30am. For directions or more information please contact Michael Stewart at (256) 656-5836 or athikerstew@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 24 – Little River Canyon Rockhop. Strenuous.
Two separate hikes: Wolf Creek and the mile below Hwy 35. We will be hiking, rock hopping, and swimming. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, hat, and be ready to get wet. Meet at the Publix in Hampton Cove at 8:30am. This is the qualifying hike for Pisgah Gorge. For more information please contact Sam Denham at (256) 539-1033(h) or (256) 961-0436(w).

West Alabama Group

Sat. July 24. Bear Creek Canoe Run
Want to find a "cool" way to enjoy the outdoors during the hot summer??
Come and float the cool waters of Bear Creek!With some of the best canoeing in Alabama,Bear Creek has a guaranteed flow each weekend sufficient for good canoeing. The 4 hour canoe float is $40 per canoe rental.If bringing your own canoe a $10 shuttle fee is charged.Cash or check only is accepted for payment. Meet at Northport Civic Center(West Side)at 8:00 a.m. Participants must call Dexter Duren at 205-393-0927 for reservations.

July 2010

Oil Spill Facts:

- The Minerals Management Service estimates that in the Gulf of Mexico there will be one spill of at least 1000 barrels every year for the next 40 years and one spill of at least 10,000 barrels every three to four years during that same time.

-The outer continental shelf of the continental United States is estimated to have around 59 billion barrels of oil.1 Considering that the U.S. consumed around 7 billion barrels2 in 2008, the total amount of oil would only be enough for 8 years.

-There is an estimated 930 million barrels of oil in the entire eastern Gulf of Mexico, the area with the most industry interest. Against current rates of consumers, that breaks down to approximately 47 days worth of oil.

-The vast majority – 80 percent – of the nation’s undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas is located in areas that were already open to drilling when the Congressional moratorium was in place, according to the Department of the Interior’s 2006 Report to Congress: Comprehensive Inventory of U.S. OCS Oil and Natural Gas Resources.

-Since 1964, offshore operators have had 40 spills greater than 1000 barrels (42,000 gallons). During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita 741,000 gallons were spilled into the waters of the Gulf from off shore rigs. That total balloons to more than nine million gallons spilled when you include spills from onshore oil and gas infrastructure.


On July 23, 2009 tar balls began washing up on the shore of South Padre Island, Texas. By the end of the day, officials had already filled seven 55 gallon drums with oil that had washed ashore.3 The source of this oil remains unknown. South Padre Island is a barrier island that is extremely popular both as a fishing destination as well as a resort location.

On July 25, 2009 an underwater pipeline owned by Shell leaked 58,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Such pipelines are an essential component of any offshore operation. Already, we have aging pipelines crisscrossing the Gulf. Clearly, they are not up the task of cleanly and safely transporting oil. Within a matter of days, that spill grew to cover 80 square miles. (Note 4)

On July 31, 2009 a ship ran aground outside Langesund off the Norwegian coast and spilled around 1,100 tons heavy bunker oil. This is well over 300,000 gallons of the most destructive type of oil.5 Two and half years ago, Norway had a spill of 370 tons. That spill was the most expensive clean-up operation in Norwegian history and resulted in the deaths of 8,000 seabirds.

On August 21, 2009 a new, high-tech rig began leaking about 150 miles off the northwestern Australian coast. That spill is ongoing and is estimated to currently cover 5800 square miles. The oil spill is expected to continue for another seven weeks, dumping directly into the Timor Sea until it can be properly contained. (note 6) In the path of the slick lies the West Kimberley region of the Timor Sea, one of the last untouched marine wilderness areas.

On November 29, 2009 a spill of 46,000 gallons of oil, water and natural gas, was reported at the Lisburne oil field, a BP-operated site on Alaska’ North Slope. The cause was a reported 2-foot split at the bottom of an 18-inch pipeline that was plugged up by ice, allowing oil and water to spray out across 8,400 square feet of tundra.

Cleanup involved bringing in steaming equipment to loosen the frozen materials, loading it into buckets and totes and bringing it to another area where it was to be melted and measured. Icy conditions delayed cleanup efforts, keeping observation planes grounded for days and preventing cleanup crews from accessing the southern area of the spill. State officials say the spill was one of the worst by volume since the March 2006 spill of 200,000 gallons of crude at Prudhoe Bay -- the biggest spill ever on the North Slope.

On December 2, 2009 another spill was from a pipeline inside a manifold building at a different Prudhoe Bay drill site. That spill released an estimated 7,170 gallons of produced water, according to state environmental officials.

On December 21, 2009 a breach at a well line in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay oilfield resulted in a spill of as much as 100 gallons of crude oil or between 300 and 700 gallons of liquids, including crude oil and water produced from the oil well. The company originally estimated that three gallons of oil and 131 gallons of water had been released. The reason for the spill is still under investigation.

On December 23, 2009 a tugboat heading back to its port in Valdez after completing an ice survey on Dec. 23 struck Bligh Reef, breaching two of the tug’s centerline diesel fuel tanks, potentially spilling 33,500 gallons of diesel fuel. The tugboat, called the Pathfinder, is a Crowley Marine Services docking and escort tug that is part of the Ship Escort Response Vessel System that was created after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989.

A dive team found extensive hull damage, with a section of the keel missing. Alcohol testing of all six crewmembers was completed with negative results. The Pathfinder is still anchored and boomed south of Busby Island. The Valdez Star, an oil response vessel, is skimming the water in the vicinity of a light silver diesel sheen. The sheen is a mile or so east of Glacier Island and is three miles long and 30 yards wide.

On April 3, 2010 a Chinese ship carrying 65,000 tons of coal ran aground on the
Great Barrier Reef, causing damage to the reef and leaking tons of oil. The Shen Neng 1 was in a restricted zone 9 miles outside of the shipping lane when it hit the reef at full speed. Leaking oil could be seen at least 2.5 miles from the ship. Note 7

On April 6, 2010 a pipeline spilled 18,000 gallons of crude oil in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, which is about 60 miles southeast of New Orleans, is the breeding area for several bird species, a winter habitat for ducks, as well as a migratory bird stopping area. Note 8

On April 22, 2010 the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon sank off the coast of
Louisiana, which continues to leak 42,000 gallons a day from the uncapped well
5,000 ft. below the surface. One third of the world’s oil dispersant is ready to be
used to combat the massive amount of leaked oil, which has covered 400 sq. miles of the Gulf of Mexico with oil. Note 9

1 Survey of Available Data on OCS Resources and Identification of Data Gaps, Report to the Secretary US DOI. OCS Report MMS 2009-015p II-8
2 Energy Information Administration. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ask/crudeoil_faqs.asp#barrels_consume_year,” Accessed September 6th, 2009.
3 My San Antonio. “Texas, Coast Guard Scramble Against Oil on Beach.” July 24, 2009.
4 Rockford Register Star. “Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Sheen Grows.” July 28, 2009.
5 Stockholm News. “Oil Spill Outside Norway Can Reach Sweden.” August 2, 2009.
6 “Seadrill Offers Rig to Help Australian Oil Gush.” Reuters. August 25, 2009.
7 Times Online, “Oil Threat to Great Barrier Reef After Ship Runs Aground.” April 5, 2010.
8 The Huffington Post, “Louisiana Oil Spill: About 18,000 Gallons of Crude Spill in Delta National
Wildlife Refuge.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/06/louisiana-oil-spill-about_n_527888.html
9 Times Online, “Oil well hit by fatal explosion produces oil slick the size of Hong Kong.” April 26, 2010.