Residents from Gulf Coast visit Va. to discuss impact of oil spill

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Gulf coast residents visited Richmond on Thursday to speak out about the oil spill in that region. They say they want to educate people about the effects of the disaster on businesses, health, and the environment.

Inside Louisiana Flair Restaurant in Richmond - food isn't the only item on the menu. Three residents from the gulf coast are here asking you to help turn the tide.

"I say to the people of Richmond that's your Gulf. You should care on a local level because I'm an entrepreneur there are entrepreneurs here - it's not happening in your backyard, but it could," said Florida resident, Chris Sehman. "

Sehman owns several restaurants in Florida and all of them have been hit hard because of the Gulf crisis.

"I expected to do 300 covers a night -- feed 300 people and I'm feeding sixty, so there's the bottom line," said Sehman.

Some of that gushing oil from the gulf is now front and center at Louisiana Flair. It's in a mason jar on the restaurant's counter. The owner says what's happening there effects businesses in the commonwealth.

"How it's impacted my restaurant, in Richmond, is the price of seafood has gone up -- the demand -- we can't find a lot of sea food," said Nathaniel Sams.

The visiting Gulf-area residents are promoting a bill they hope will lessen the chance of future oil spills.

"This is about people's lives. It's about nature. Our environment and future generations," said Aimee Dominique, a Louisiana resident.

The visiting group is encouraging Virginians to vacation in the Gulf region and to spend money.

Richmonders are doing their part to help those devastated by the crisis. A benefit concert took place on Thursday at Legend Brewing Company. The event was organized by three friends who wanted to lend a hand. Money raised from the concert will be donated the Gulf Restoration Network.

The visit by the group from the Gulf Coast was organized by the organization, Clean Energy Works, which is trying to raise public awareness for Senate action on climate and energy legislation.

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