Environment

Locals take oil spill cleanup into their own hands

Locals take oil spill cleanup into their own hands
Volunteers are cleaning up Northeastern beaches. Photo: Léo Domingos

“I had oil all over my hands, arms, and legs. I didn’t know what to do. I washed it off with soap and then with cooking oil. It was the first time I’d ever seen it here.” Natalia Jessica stared out at the ocean with a mix of incredulity and sorrow, after her unusual bath. The high tide helped sweep away some of the oil that the local task force couldn’t remove from the beaches in the small city of Coruripe, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Alagoas. That Saturday, at least two tons of sludge had been collected.

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