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Best of 2018 —  The Manolis L cleanup came about through steely determination

The Manolis L cleanup effort.
The Manolis L cleanup effort. -File photo

Journalist Sarah Ladik
Journalist Sarah Ladik


It’s not every day, as a journalist, you get to cruise around in trucks, choppers, and boats, or cover the clean-up efforts of one of the biggest potential environmental crises on our coast.

Reporting the oil recovery efforts at the Manolis L site in Notre Dame Bay, just out from Herring Neck, was certainly an experience I won’t forget.

The story, however, came together as a result of a team effort, including Jenn Hoegg on web desk and editors at The Telegram who took over later that night, after I had filed. This is to say nothing of the many years’ worth of stories on the looming catastrophe by reporters before me.

My final source for my own contribution to the narrative was Carolyn Parsons, co-leader of the group who spent five years lobbying various levels of government to get the clean-up underway. She was also – not coincidentally – the reporter who broke the story for the now-defunct Pilot.

“Since August the operation to remove the oil has been completed,” Parsons, now a regular columnist for The Central Voice, wrote Dec. 7.

The oil has been disposed of, and a final report by the Canadian Coast Guard and contractor Ardent Global is to be presented at Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms’s office in Gander in the new year.

“I cried when I learned the operation was complete, from relief,” Parsons wrote. “It's also surreal that a small, grassroots organization started in a tiny community like Change Islands lobbied the federal government and was successful. We also know that our efforts impacted legislation that hopefully will mean this is a battle others won't have to fight.”

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