Joe and I just returned from the third trip to the LA coast to photograph the effects of the oil spill. We were able to go out into Barataria Bay with Captain Dave Morino of Myrtle Grove Charters out of Myrtle Grove Marina. Spending 2 days on the water and seeing the areas that still have oil and damage from oil has a lasting impact on a person. This was Joe's first trip and first experience at a man made disaster. To still see tar balls on barrier islands, caked up oil and sand on the shore of barrier islands, oil coming up from digging down into the sand, oil damaged marsh grasses, bird rookeries with juveniles sitting on boom, vast expanses of bay and marsh with unknown contamination.. This all leaves lasting impression on a person whether they are 15 or 50. Boating through the areas that shrimpers catch shrimp in the canals and seeing oil in the areas makes you really wonder who's interest the seafood industry and the government has when they saw that seafood is ok to eat. They tell us that crustaceans and fish can detoxify the hydrocarbons they ingest in a matter of weeks. But what about chronic exposure, because the oil is still out there, no matter what the government is trying to say right now.. And clean up and documentation, not near as much as what they tell you they are doing.
I want everything to be ok in the LA marshes and the coast, but I don't think the government has done enough documentation of effected areas or testing of the environment or residents of the environment to know if things are safe or when they will be safe..
Just take a look at this Willet shorebird, walking around on the edges of the marsh that have been killed off by the oil.. And what effect will walking around and eating around these oily areas have on the bird population? Just a few things to think about as we try to digest the "facts" thrown at us by the cleanup team from the Gulf..