Politicians and BP officials who assure the public all that can be done is being done to protect and clean up the Gulf Coast might want to reconsider such statements. That is not what I have seen. Brown pelicans on Queen Bess Island are living dangerously close to splotches of oil stuck inside and outside the boom meant to protect the island. Many of them have been rescued by wildlife and fishery officials, while countless others have died. The cleanup effort ramps up when VIP’s are around; other than that, the cleanup and containment effort is sporadic at best. Last weekend, Christopher Hernandez of Grand Isle called members of the press down to show them around the day after 600 workers were bussed in to clean the beach for Obama’s visit. Post-Obama, the cleanup crews numbers dwindled and their work hours were almost nonexistant.
For a multi-media story for the Atlantic featuring Chris and his take on BP controlling the media on Grand Isle, Also check out a photo essay for the Washington Post on the Pointe au Chien Indians I have updated my set on Flickr and it will continue to grow.
Images- top to bottom –A reporter puts his hand in an oil patch on the surface of Barataria Bay/Sign on Grand Isle, where BP’s oil spill has shut down the fishing industry and washed up on shore/Brown pelican covered in oil on Barataria Bay off the coast of Grand Terre Island/ Chris Hernandez, Street Superintendent of Grand Isle, on Grand Isle beach/Baby tern stuck in an oil patch on Grand Isle beach, rescued by Chris Hernandez/ Pelican, being cleaned at Fork Jackson in Buras Louisiana/ Living quarters for cleanup workers on a barge stationed in Lake Barre/ Jake Billiot, a Pointe-au-Chien Indian, in front of the place of business where he used to sell shrimp in Point aux- Chene. The shrimp season was canceled on May 30th due to oil from the BP leak contaminating the waters. Jake has been a fisherman his whole life. Jake signed on to work for BP putting out boom since no other work is available to him