Oil, Abandonment, Dolphins and Birds

On I led a documentary crew on a boat tour down to heavily impacted areas in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. We embarked on our journey from Delta Marine in Empire, Louisiana and made our way west passing through Bay Atlas, No Man’s Land, Lake Washington, Lake Grand Ecaille then northwest into Bay Jimmy. After stepping off the boat and into the marsh to show the cameras BP’s oil in its various states (crust, tar balls, tar mats, liquid) we then ventured southeast past Big Island and into Cat Bay where I showed them the serious erosion problems on the Cat Island pelican rookery. We were also lucky enough to be visited by several dolphins that put on quite a show for us as we coasted along for a few miles at a slow pace. We eventually made our way back to Empire and then continued the rest of our day interviewing a couple of locals before embarking on a trawling trip aboard a shrimp boat out of Port Sulphur. All told, the day was rather productive for the documentary crew as they seemed pleased with their outing. Most crews/media that request GRN to guide them into the marsh as part of their coverage of the ongoing disaster tend to capture the visuals they are looking for as we have become quite savvy at taking them to locations still experiencing heavy oiling and other impacts such as erosion and abandoned oil and gas infrastructure. It may be good for television and there is no arguing that it is important for the story to continue being told in whatever media market that will listen.However, it is sad work at times and I can’t help but to stay up at night worrying about the ongoing suffering of the dolphins and other wildlife that are still reeling. Same holds true for the human suffering which I encounter each and every time I make a trip to the coast. I have to admit that the heavy toll this disaster has taken on both the human and natural environment does wear on me. Still, the fact that I am able to contribute in some small way on a regular basis to making things better is motivation to continue on in this fight for a healthy Gulf.You can and should contribute too, in some small way by, donating to our efforts, volunteering, and taking action through any and all of the myriad of ways in which we ask you to do so, be it an online petition, filling out a postcard at one of the many events you will find GRN tabling at, or picking up the phone and contacting your member of congress imploring them to do right by the Gulf and its people. Together we can right this ship but it is going to take a collective will and strength. Please be sure to open the slide show and click on show info for a brief description of each image. Thank you! Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for GRN.

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