I returned recently from my second trip to LA and AL. See previous posts for images from Bon Secour NWR and Fort Jackson bird rehab facility.
The images today are from my trip into Barataria Bay. I was fortunate to have David Newsom and Tad (sorry Tad, didn't get your last name) accompany me on a boat ride into the bay. David is a director/producer/photographer from LA and Tad is a photographer/ videographer from Seattle. They were in the area working on interviews and images from the oil spill. It was a very moving experience as we saw areas of marsh that were contaminated and marsh grass dying from the contamination. I witnessed these areas 3 weeks prior and they had no contamination whatsoever.
The birds on Queen Bess Island seem to be doing well, even if the area next to the water is contaminated. The panorama image shows Royal Terns and chicks at the waters edge with rocks that appeared to be contaminated with oil. Fortunately, when we visited Fort Jackson, we only saw pelicans affected, so the terns are staying out of the oil, so far.
Dave and I talked quite a bit about the effects of oil spills, our dependancy on oil and the effect of this particular oil spill. One of the comments Dave made was about his interview with someone from the US Coast Guard who said that they didn't know how to deal with the contamination in the marshes and had no plan on cleanup of the marshes at this time. Thinking that this might could have been prevented if LA had been allowed to build their containment system broke my heart.
Dave asked if I was hopefully about the outcome. I told him that always looked at things with a ray of hope, no matter how bleak things are. What worries me is that this land might be contaminated for many generations.. This means that my future grandkids and great grandkids might not ever get to see a pristine Gulf Coast. My kids have seen it because they have been down to the Coast. When I return in August with my almost 16yo son, it will be interesting to see his reaction. He has been very vocal about the environment and to see a disaster like this up close might help bring another voice to the side of reason. In our youth lies the potential to overcome the difficulties imposed on the environment by past generations.. Here's hoping..