While the end may be near for the rogue BP oil well, the damage to Louisiana’s wetlandscontinues. More oil is washing up, oil that has sunk into the ground is resurfacing and tropical storms push it deeper into the marshes. Scientists are concerned about the long term effects on the Gulf of Mexico’s wildlife and fish from the toxic combination of dispersants and oil. Click here to see some of the oil being recovered from the water.
Admiral Thad Allen reports seeing little to no oil on recent flyovers. Plaquemines ParishPresident Billy Nungesser disagrees. On a trip out to Barataria Bay, Nungesser assessed the damage first hand. A low tide coupled with Northern winds made it possible to see oil washed deep into the wetlands. Fiddler crabs covered in oil scurried along the banks, while gulls fished the polluted waters.
Booms, skimmers and jack-up barges have been removed despite the protestation of parish presidents. Though a total environmental catastrophe appears to have been averted, it is too early to assess the long term damage to Louisiana’s wetlands. It is unclear how much of the oil-saturated marsh grass will die, but any such loss will speed up coastal erosion. Click here to see footage of the Damage to the Marsh as seen from an airboat.
There is a growing concern among locals that the oil disaster story is being whitewashed. BP’s pr team seems eager to call the disaster a wrap. Doug Suttles,Chief Operating Officer of BP Exploration and Production, reminisces about his first flight over the disaster in a July 20th BP video. He gushes about the extraordinary effort that he says has worked extraordinarily well. “There is just not a lot of oil out there, ” he says
. Nunngesser begs to differ. I sat down and talked to him after a trip to Barataria Bay. Listen to what he has to say here.
For images of the oil that is still out there click here.
If this is what the 25% of the remaining oil looks like, the wetlands are still in trouble. Bob Cesca’s article “The BP Disaster Continues Despite Cheerful Happy Talk”
will make you question most major media sources’ willingness to accept the Joint Information Center’s pr. Who’s doing the talking, the Coast Guard or BP or have they become one and the same? Who is allowing BP to pull up their assets, the booms andskimmers and barges, and run? Hurricane season has yet to peak. Kudos to Billy who speaks his mind when no one else will. As a sign on Route 23 that takes you through the heart of Plaquemines Parish says, “God Bless Billy.”