On Sunday, July 25, 2010, an oil pipeline owned by Enbridge, a Canadian company, ruptured and spilled more than one million gallons of toxic tar sands into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. It was the largest oil spill ever on U.S. soil.
Five years and $1.2 billion later, the river is still polluted, and the community is still suffering the impacts of the spill. On the five year anniversary, hundreds of community members and activists from all over the region gathered to commemorate the Kalamazoo River tar sands disaster and organize to stop history from repeating itself in other communities.
The anniversary began with a sunrise water ceremony and a twelve-mile healing walk from Saylor’s Landing in Marshall, MI to the Kalamazoo River.
Meanwhile in Battle Creek, community members and activists met to share their experiences and talk about how to organize to stop this from happening again.
When the water walkers reached the community center, everyone joined them in a silent walk to the river to reflect on the tar sands disaster five years before.