Contrary to what some may believe, a tremendous amount of oil from the massive oil spill remains in marshes off the coast of Louisiana. Officials from Louisiana are upset about the cleanup efforts by BP and the federal government, and rightly so. In early January, state and parish officials took media representatives on a boat tour of Barataria Bay, pointing out areas where oil is collecting in marshes and protective boom is either absent or overwhelmed by the oil. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser calls it “the biggest cover-up in the history of America.” Nungesser was accompanied on the tour by Robert Barham, the secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The environmentally-delicate Louisiana coastline is still in big trouble and that’s a most serious matter.
The oil presents a number of environmental concerns. Among them is the damage done to the delicate reeds and grasses that grow in Louisiana’s coastal estuaries. The marshes serve as nurseries for a variety of microscopic sea life — the bottom of the food chain that replenishes the abundant Gulf fisheries. Also, the killing of marsh grasses contributes to a long-standing erosion of Louisiana’s coast and barrier islands, the state’s first line of protection against hurricanes.
Source: Associated Press
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