After months of agony, the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has finally stopped, but the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill will likely be felt for generations to come.
What we do know is that hundreds of miles of shoreline and sensitive marshland have been fouled, thousands of sea creatures and birds have died, nearly one quarter of the Gulf's Federal Waters have been closed to commercial fishing and surface oil slicks continue to appear and migrate.
Still, the full effects of underwater oil and the millions of gallons of potentially toxic dispersants is not yet fully known. The exact environmental and economic impact of the spill is sadly still unfolding, but a handful of Milwaukeeans aren't waiting any longer to offer support from the North.
Paul or Lori Fredrich operate "Burp! Where Food Happens," a local food blog that focuses on seasonal cooking with "real" food that is locally-sourced. But this Oct. 10, the foodie duo is shifting its food focus due south by helping to organize the Gumbo Git Down, an afternoon of delicious Southern fare and music in support of the Gulf Restoration Network.
The Gumbo Git Down happens at American Serb Hall from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with all proceeds going to the Gulf Restoration Network.
"The fact is, Gulf fisherman and others in the food industry have been greatly affected by the BP Oil Disaster -- and mitigation in the Gulf region will persist for years to come," says Lori.
"One of our goals in assisting the Gulf is to ensure sure that Milwaukee area restaurants (and consumers) are able to source fresh healthy seafood from the Gulf region in years to come. That motivation alone was enough to get us involved!"
Partnering with MilwaukeeFood.com, the Fredrichs gathered a group of Milwaukee restaurants, including Fishbone's Cajun & Creole Restaurant, Crawdaddy's, Maxie's Southern Comfort, Roots, Ginger, On the Right Track Roadhouse Cafe and Beans & Barley, to prepare gumbo and other Southern specialties for the hungry masses -- and Milwaukee Brewing Co. will be on hand to help wash it all down.
The evening is rounded out with door prizes and music from Milwaukee artists Jayme Dawicki, Take Solace and Blonde-on-Blonde.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”