DESTIN – Thousands of people have sent BP ideas for cleaning-up the oil in the water or on the beach. Earlier this year, Kevin Costner backed an ocean-water oil skimmer, 15-years in the making. Now, actor Stephen Baldwin visited Walton County to show-off his beach cleaning machine.
Stephen Baldwin, youngest of the 4 Baldwin brothers, is playing another role these days. He’s put his Tinseltown career on hold to bring attention to the Gulf Coast recovery efforts.
“This is just the next phase for me in my personal experience of using my celebrity to make a difference and shine some light on situations that need to have change, and need to be corrected, and help create awareness to find solutions” says the celebrity activist.
Out of that comes the Thunder Response Group, an environmental clean-up organization spearheaded by Baldwin to address the fact that the crisis is not over.
Even though the leaking well has been capped, millions of gallons of oil are still in the gulf and remains a constant threat to the coastline.
Baldwin says he couldn’t sit back and watch the tragedy unfold without helping.
“It bums me out that you have potentially layers of tar balls under the sand already that will come up and get exposed through the natural process of currents and the wind, so we’d like to make a difference in that reality.”
With a new line of defense: Sand skimming.
Baldwin pitched his three tier vacuum system to Walton County leaders Monday hoping to gain their approval and implement the technology.
The service won’t cost the taxpayers a dime.
“It would be at no cost to the county. BP would incur all costs of having it over there. The county won’t be responsible for any of this; it would be a cost to BP. It would be our responsibility to work with BP to get them to sign off and pay this” says Blake Cody with the Thunder Response Group.
The skimming systems have not yet been approved by DEP or the EPA but Thunder Response Group members anticipate the green light in the coming weeks.
This is one of many of Baldwin’s Gulf Coast recovery projects.
He’s currently producing a documentary titled “A Will to Drill,” which will explore the events leading up to the Deep Horizon oil spill.
See video here: http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/101838558.html