Bird’s Eye View: East Bay Heavily Oiled, Bird’s Threatened

I took the photos below on a flyover late last week with On Wings of Care pilot Bonny Schumaker. The original plan was to get out on the water and beaches today and sample the area, and then post a blog including both aerial and ground level photos. Well, as luck would have it, the conditions were not ideal today for that to happen. And that trip has been postponed until later this week. Nevertheless, the flyover produced some compelling images and I have chosen to highlight a few herein. This particular flight took us over Breton Sound, the Macondo Prospect, and over East Bay along the Louisiana coast just to the west of Southpass.We discovered what is becoming a regular sighting, a slick in Breton Sound. A report was filed with the National Response Center and we hope that the offending party is held accountable. The report number number can be found below and photos can be seen in the slideshow.Second, we visited the Macondo Prospect to document whether, post-Tropical Storm Irene, the oil slick or globules that we documented on several prior trips were still there. The answer to that question is, yes. There is still a slick emanating from below the surface in the Macondo Prospect. While crisscrossing the prospect on this day, we approached the slick from several angles at least three different times. The slick remained positioned at the same GPS coordinates so we know that it cannot be blamed on a boat, ocean-liner or some other maritime vessel as had been suggested by some in comments on previous blog posts from recent flyovers. What is the source of this slick. That is the question we continue to pose to the Coast Guard but have yet to have answered.Finally, the photos taken above East Bay are the most disturbing to me personally. Some of you may recall that I made several trips to East Bay starting just after the disaster began and posted blogs and photos from those trips. You can check out some of those earliest updates here and here. Now, check out these photos and you will see that East Bay is still in great peril. If you zoom in on some of the photos you can see birds swimming in and out of oiled areas. You can also see a man attending to one of those propane powered cannons that shoot blanks to scare away the birds. Clearly, the cannons are not working. Again, these photos were taken this past not last year.Stay tuned for a more in depth analysis of East Bay and the surf washing project that is also taking place on the island. I hope to have more photos to share form the ground later this week.Our complete flight track for this flight can be downloaded here.The NRC report numbers are #988781 for Breton Sound and #988782 for the Macondo Prospect.For a link to On Wings of Care’s blog from this flyover and others, visit here: Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for GRN.

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