A Sad Day For This Marine Mammal

As the pictures below will clearly show, it was a very sad day yesterday on the Louisiana coast. Myself, a coworker, Scott Eustis, and videographer, Randy Perez, were accompanied by Forrest Travirca and Cathy Norman of the Edward Wisner Donation Land Trust to an area of privately owned land adjacent to Fourchon Beach and Elmer’s Island. The purpose of our visit was to learn about what transpired on this remote stretch of beach during the BP disaster. What were the impacts and what is BP is doing, has done, or failed to do to, in BP’s words, “make it right” ? We hopped in an UTV, or “Gator” and made our way up and down the beach listening to our guides rehash their experiences during the disaster while pointing out points of interest. Having been out to the coast either by boat or plane over 60 times in the last year to monitor the oil impacts and clean-up operations, including impacts to marine life, I thought that I had seen it all. Still, although I have seen most of the carnage that BP unleashed on the Gulf so far, there’s not much that can prepare one to see something like this: That poor dolphin washed in while we were traversing the beach. The others obviously had been there for some time. In all, we saw three dead dolphins yesterday and lots of dead fish. While clearly it is too early to declare that BP killed that poor dolphin that washed in, we hope that one day in the near future to prove or disprove BP’s culpability. Having reported it to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, we are hoping that we can track it though the chain of custody and necropsy and ultimately find out who or what killed that amazing, innocent creature. While there were no signs of visible oil on that particular one, the other two that were decomposing had visible signs of oiling, according to our guides. Regardless, everywhere we looked upon the beach were tar balls and tar mats. Clearly, as the pictures show, BP failed to make it right. Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for GRN.

Scroll to Top