The Photos BP Doesn’t Want You to See: Their Oil In America’s Wetland

Oil impacts Redfish Bay in Louisiana’s bird’s foot delta, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Photographed on May 27 by Jeffrey Dubinsky, on a flyover Jeffrey and I took with Mike Tidwell, GRN advisory board member and author of “Bayou Farewell.” These photos have been used by Reuters, in a story on our call for a federalized response in Mother Jones, and the front page of the Huffington Post. They tell the tale far better than BP would like. We had to fly at 3,000 feet due to a ‘temporary flight restriction’ that has been in place since the BP drilling disaster began. For clarity’s sake, we may want to refer to this as a ‘media flight restriction,’ no media flights have gotten approval to fly over the oil impacts, and the area that’s closed has expanded exponentially, now keeping people out of the air over most of Southeast Louisiana. Our pilots have been told by BP representatives that we can’t fly into these areas, once they find out we’re with environmental groups and we have cameras.At 3,000 feet you need an awfully long lens and an awfully clear day to get any decent shots, but our photographer really captured powerful images on this trip. It’s clear the oil has fouled a wide stretch of the bird’s foot delta. It’s safe to assume this won’t be the last area spoiled, though I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to get you the images.Aaron Viles is GRN’s campaign director, follow him on twitter @GulfAaron

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