On the Scene at Delta NWR

As we speak, GRN’s Jonathan Henderson is on the water touring the Delta National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The first reports of oil from the BP drilling disaster making landfall occurred near this area last night.According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Delta NWR’s “lush vegetation is the food source for a multitude of fish, waterfowl and animals.” In fact, tens of thousands of waterfowl winter on the refuge, and large numbers of other bird species can also be found, with their numbers “peaking during the spring and fall migrations.” Jonathan and his companions saw hundreds of individual birds and several different species today in the refuge.There was something missing though. They didn’t see a single boom, or a single clean-up boat, or any kind of protection whatsoever, for this pristine estuary and the wildlife that inhabit it. Thankfully, the oil has not yet reached this area, but it is likely just a matter of time.Members of our staff have taken several plane rides and trips since last weekend and a pattern is beginning to emerge. BP officials continue to insist that herculean efforts are being employed on the ground and in the air to contain the spill and protect communities and wildlife. Yet, when we flew over the site of BP’s oil drilling disaster on we saw only a few boats employed for clean-up. Now, the miles upon miles of booms supposedly being deployed are nowhere to be found around one of the most pristine and ecologically important coastal marshes.Stay tuned for pictures from Jonathan’s boat ride, and check out a map of the Delta NWR here. Some of the areas on the map that Jonathan visited include Dead Women Bend, Buoy Pond, and Goose Island Inside Pass.Raleigh Hoke is GRN’s Mississippi Organizer

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