Channels of Life: the Gulf Coast Buildout in TX
Before heavy industry moved in to the Coastal Bend, cotton was king and farm commodities were the predominate exports of the Port of Corpus Christi. Beginning in the 1930s, the fossil fuel industry began moving into the area, and it has grown dramatically since. Promising job and economic growth, it brought enormous environmental consequences to the area, with increasing emissions and discharge that continue to infringe on neighborhoods and degrade ecosystems. In the last five years, massive buildout has brought in ever-expanding plastics and steel manufacturing sites, and pipelines from the Permian Basin that transport crude to expanding tank farms and marine terminals - all with the blessings of local economic development corporations, government, and the increasingly authoritarian Port of Corpus Christi Authority. Channels of Life takes a look at what is already here and what is to come. Whether you are pleasure-boating in the channels or driving down the highway, you only see the edge of industrial sprawl that already exists. The depth of the incursion is not visible from ground level. Flying from Port Aransas, up the La Quinta Channel, to the Nueces Delta and ending at Refinery Row, this album offers a bird’s eye view of what we have now, and what is on the horizon. It begs the questions, how much more industrial saturation can the Coastal Bend’s public health and ecosystem withstand before it is all sacrificed? Is it destined to become a sacrifice zone for increasing corporate wealth and prestige?
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