Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bird's Eye View of Barataria Bay Wetlands

Aerial View of Barataria Bay Area

GULF COAST - Drew Wheelan, ABA Conservation Coordinator, tags along with the Lower Mississippi River and Achafalaya Basin Keepers for a fly over of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Barataria Bay region of coastal Louisiana. South Wings Aviation provided the flight that gave Drew the opportunity to document a "bird's eye view" of the marsh islands that many species of wildlife call home.

Video recorded on day seventy-four of "The Disaster in the Gulf", just after Hurricane Alex passed through the region. The flight goes over several colonies of birds, including Pelicans, Gulls, Herons and Terns that are being hit hard by the oil and mother nature.

PLEASE NOTE: There was a heavy haze that day but Drew's determination carried him through. Thanks Drew for your dedication to help protect our precious wetlands.

Posted on YOUTUBE by AmericanBirding

Monday, July 12, 2010

Smallest victims of the oil spill face an uncertain future.

A baby Kemp's ridley sea turtle, an endangered species, receives care from veterinary technicians after being rescued from oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The turtles are cleaned and rehabilitated at the Audubon Center for the Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans.
Associated Press Writer

FORT JACKSON — The smallest victims are the biggest challenge for crews rescuing birds fouled with oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill.
There's no way to know how many chicks have been killed by the oil, or starved because their parents were rescued or died struggling in a slick.
"There are plenty of oiled babies out there," said Rebecca Dmytryk of the International Bird Rescue Research Center, one of the groups working to clean oiled animals.
The lucky ones end up in a cleaning center at Fort Jackson, a pre-Civil War historic site on the Mississippi River delta south of New Orleans.
Pelican chicks often come in cold because oil has matted down the fluffy down that's meant to keep them warm. They must be warmed quickly just to survive long enough to be cleaned. And the youngest must be taught to eat.
"They only know their parents regurgitating food into their mouths. They don't know how to pick stuff up," said Dmytryk, whose organization is working with Tri-State Bird Rescue, a company hired by BP to coordinate animal rescue and cleaning in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
That means tube feeding three times a day. Others, a bit older and accustomed to taking fish from a parent's throat, must be hand-fed until they can eat fish from a bowl.
Adults can be checked a few times a day, but babies needed two staffers' full-time attention to be sure they are eating and are warm.
Many adults and juvenile pelicans get coated with heavy oil diving for fish. That doesn't happen with the chicks, though they may wade into oily puddles or get smeared by oil from their parents' feathers.
In general, rescuers don't go into nesting colonies, said Mike Carloss, a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist. He said most rescued chicks were near shorelines or were on nests so low that oil washed onto them.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Louisiana Fisherman: "They are using us like laboratory rats."


Grand Isle - Dean Blanchard owns and operates Dean Blanchard Seafood, inc in Grand Isle, La. Dean is very concerned for the health of all gulf coast residents. He talks about BPs continued use of Corexit 9500 even though there is no evidence that it is safe.

Dean reveals in this video a few of the underhanded methods BP is using to cover up their half hearted attempt to clean up the spill. His frustration is clear and his hope for a future in the business he loves died when the Corexit laced blacktide rolled in.

A Project Gulf Impact Film

Posted on YOUTUBE by ProjectGulfImpact

Shot and Edited: Gavin Garrison and Heather Rally
Interviewer: Matt Smith

Friday, July 9, 2010

Marine Toxicologist Warns Chemicals Could Contaminate Air

Chemicals could contaminate air


Marine Toxicologist, Dr. Riki Ott urges
residents of the Gulf Coast impacted by
the oil spill to develop at "Plan B."

GULF COAST - It's been 21 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and while many of the financial claims still have yet to be laid to rest, many of the clean-up workers who were exposed to toxic chemicals in 1989, have been.

And with more and more Gulf clean-up workers complaining of headaches, sore throats and nausea, Dr. Riki Ott, marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor, is getting an unwanted wave of déjà vu.

"We got hard hats instead of respirators, just like you," Dr. Ott recalled. "The material safety data sheet for this oil, it says it's a respiratory irritant. It's all concentrated right where the slick hits the surface, so anything that is on that seawater interface is at risk, like dolphins, sea turtles and the workers in their boats trying to respond to this without respirators."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gulf Oysters Replaced By Rhode Island Calamari

A worker displays a fresh gulf oyster at P&J Oyster Co. in New Orleans Thursday, June 10, 2010. Work is coming to a halt at the 134-year-old establishment after oyster beds were closed because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Audra D.S. Burch
McClatchy Newspapers

NEW ORLEANS — Celebrity Chef Frank Brigtsen coated the squid in a perfect blend of seasoned cornmeal then dropped the batch into a vat of oil at Charlie's Seafood, a beloved neighborhood joint.

After a lifetime in Louisiana, 38 years as an architect of Creole cuisine inspired by the gifts of the Gulf of Mexico, this was one of the first times he had served diners fried calamari.

Before BP oil's endless flow threatened the supply and upped price of fish and shellfish by up to 30 percent, a hankering for southern fried seafood at this 60-year-old landmark would have yielded a heaping plate of crispy Louisiana oysters.

"'Charlie's is a place that celebrates Louisiana seafood and here I am frying calamari from Rhode Island," says Brigtsen, an award-winning chef who also owns his eponymously named contemporary Creole cuisine restaurant uptown. "I feel like somehow I am betraying my customers by not giving them oysters. I feel like I am wearing someone else's clothes." READ COMPLETE STORY

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Louisiana's Gov Jindal to Allow Concealed Guns in Church

Concealed Guns in Church

BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal has agreed to allow concealed handguns inside Louisiana's churches.
Churches, synagogues and mosques choosing to allow concealed carry will have to inform their congregations of the decision. Anyone wishing to carry a concealed weapon in a church will have to take an extra eight hours of tactical training each year.
Jindal signed the bill by Republican Rep. Henry Burns today. The new law does not apply to churches on school property.  READ COMPLETE STORY 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Louisiana Workforce Commission: Fishermen Job Loss Statistics Unclear

Rodney Pellegrin works in Dulac, La.
to attach two sections of  shrimp nets. 
Pellegrin said he’s frustrated by how 
the fishing waters are opened and 
closed so often.

By Kathrine Schmidt 
HOUMA — Following the auto industry implosion of 2008, Detroit’s unemployment rate stands at nearly 30 percent.
But when it comes to sizing up the lost wages and jobs from BP’s catastrophic oil spill to boat captains, deckhands and charter captains in Louisiana, numbers showing the impact on Houma-Thibodaux are much harder to come by.
That’s because many are self-employed and work seasonally, meaning their jobs and income are not tracked by state labor statistics. The state’s Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board doesn’t keep track of that information either, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission did not respond to a request about how they planned to track the job losses. ReadComplete Story            

Democracy Now Video "Day 74, Voices From a Devastated Community in the Gulf" "

Democracy NOW! Revisits Grand Isle, 
a community devastated by the oil spill.

Day 74 - Democracy Now reporting from the Gulf Coast giving a face to the tragedy now known as the worst oil spill in US history.  Amy Goodman, "On this this holiday weekend with families across the country celebrating July 4th, our thoughts are in Louisiana, where we broadcast several weeks ago."  

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fishing Boats Outside Barrier Islands Busy Soaking Up Oil

Even though this article refers to "SHRIMPERS" this is an Oyster Boat!

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek W. Richburg/ U.S.Coast Guard
Workers use improvised mops made of bamboo poles and absorbent pads to clean up oil in the marsh grass Saturday in Terrebonne Bay.

John DeSantis
Senior Staff Writer
COCODRIE — For the first full day in a week, crews on land and at sea scouted for and cleaned up oil Saturday, making what they said appeared to be solid progress against the Gulf spill in Terrebonne and Lafourche.
“They are heroes,” Lafourche Parish government spokesman Brennan Matherne said of the shrimp boats, which operated around Timbalier Bay and adjacent waters. “I am hearing more and more how impressed the Coast Guard is with our fishermen and their efforts. Had it not been for their hard work and tremendous effort, we would have had much more of an impact.”
Terrebonne Parish, ground crews worked on barrier islands, where large swaths of medium-to-light consistency sheen left its mark on the beaches.
No large patches of oil such as those seen earlier in the week were spotted heading into the barrier island passes.
“There was a big crew working on Timbalier Island today,” said Terrebonne Parish Public Safety Director Ralph Mitchell. READ MORE

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grand Terre, Only Accessible by Boat, No Protection and Large Deposits of Oil


Grand Terre Island, just a 1/4 mile from Grand Isle, and only accessible by boat, had virtually no protection and large deposits of oil could be seen around its shores. Storms and windy conditions happen in an instant and pushes boom up on the shores rendering them useless. 

Photo by Lars Gange Published in Lafourche Gazette

Holiday Weekend No Holiday for Island Community

Lisa Owens of Raceland and her son Brad look off the pier Friday at Grand Isle State Park. Lisa has been visiting Grand Isle often since she was a child. “It's sad,” she said, referring to oil hitting the beach. “I just worry about the poor animals.”

John DeSantis
Senior Staff Writer
July 3, 2010

GRAND ISLE — There will be fireworks and parties, like every Fourth of July, on this island where the essence of existence is having a good time no matter what trials may come.

But Grand Isle's legendary joie de vivre, like the marsh plants along its storm-tossed passes, are soaked heavy with the oil from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon disaster.

While residents try to keep up appearances, the makeup is wearing a bit thin.

During the last holiday weekend, Memorial Day, the excitement of a presidential visit was enough of a sideshow to eclipse the specter of oil fouling cherished beaches. A dogged determination to have fun dictated that even if the annual trout-fishing rodeo was canceled, there would be dancing and drinking despite it all. The beach may be closed, but creative signs and dioramas of protest took the edge off. READ COMPLETE STORYY

Emma Chighizola has owned Blue Water Souvenirs for 24 years and says business has never been this slow during the summer, even after Hurricane Katrina.
Buy photo

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cleanup Halted as Spill Moves North of Terrebonne Parish's Barrier Islands

Matt Stamey/Staff
Capt. Dinh Pham (left) and deckhand Johnny Tran of Venice work Wednesday to install a generator on their vessel docked at Bouquet Seafood in Chauvin. The boat was working to clean up oil but was forced to dock because of weather.

Oil patches move north of barrier islands

John DeSantis
Senior Staff Writer

Thursday, July 1, 2010

COCODRIE – Small patches of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill began moving north of Terrebonne Parish's barrier islands Wednesday, a day when cleanup efforts were sidelined by heavy seas and winds related to Hurricane Alex, which was close to making landfall on the Texas-Mexico border. READ FULL STORY