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Environmentalists to appear at Bridge House

ALBANY -- With the BP oil spill receding from the front pages, it just might be time to rethink the power of big oil, conservationists said.

Local environmental groups plan an evening reading and training session -- "UnspOILed: An Evening of Environmental Inspiration and Action" -- starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bridge House/Albany Welcome Center on 112 N. Front St.

To open the evening, there will be readings by writers from an anthology by retired Darton College professor O. Victor Miller and Florida writers who wrote on Gulf of Mexico environmental issues before the BP oil disaster.

"When we began this project (assembling the anthology) last fall, the thought of the Gulf Coast being ruined in our lifetime was only a distant nightmare," said Susan Cerulean, a Tallahassee writer and editor. "Now, as our project came to fruition, we are heartbroken, terrified and furious."

Fighting big oil to save the coastline became a unifying effort among the 36 writers who donated essays, poems and short stories to the anthology.

"We hope that our book will help generate support in favor of protecting our most precious coastline," Cerulean said. "If ever there was a time to stop drilling and move toward clean, renewable energy sources, this is the moment."

Joining the reading will be Diane Roberts, a Florida State University teacher and a National Public Radio Weekend Edition commentator, and Dawn Radford, a writer raised in the Panhandle.

Following the reading there will be a reception and book signing. At 7 p.m. there will be a 90-minute training session for people interested in becoming politically active conservationists.

The evening is co-sponsored by the Flint Riverkeeper and the Albany Audubon Society.

Everyone is invited to attend the event and there is no charge.