The crude oil has crept 50 miles into the marshes of Louisiana, covering 100 miles of coastline. This heavy crude oil is killing plant life, animal life and aquatic life. Meanwhile, residents of the coastal parishes in Louisiana are asking the Federal Government for permission to dredge the Gulf bottom so that they may form sand, shell and shale barrier islands to stop the oil from further incursion to the wetland areas. They wait . . .
Wetlands Photograph from oceanfutures.org
The loss of wetlands in Louisiana affects not only Louisiana's fisheries, but also the fisheries of all of the Gulf of Mexico states, from Texas to Florida. The Clean Water Act, the state's Coastal Resources Management Act, and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act have proven to be effective in reducing wetland losses. The future of Louisiana's wetlands, the fisheries that depend on them, and the communities that depend on the fishing industry, all depend upon continuing wetland conservation and restoration efforts in Louisiana.
Jean-Michel Cousteau on the Gulf Oil Disaster
video from oceanfutures.org
High concentrations of oil are acutely toxic, but low concentrations have more subtle, widespread effects. As oil percolates through food webs, it retards plant and animal growth, leaving them vulnerable to predation and disease, and less fit to reproduce. With the Deepwater Horizon spill already too large and unpredictable to contain, the question is no longer whether it will cause damage, but what form damage will take.