More massive tar mats from BP oil spill discovered on Louisiana beaches ~Bob Marshall, The Lens
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster was just a month old and BP’s crude oil was still gushing from the Gulf floor when state officials began to grasp the true scope of the insult to Louisiana’s coast: Beaches, estuaries and wetlands would be under assault for decades.
“I’ve been told by the ocean experts this stuff could hang out there on the bottom of the Gulf for more than 100 years. And as long as it’s out there, it can come ashore,” said Robert Barham, Secretary of the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in 2010.
“We might not see big black waves, but we may be seeing a smaller, but serious problem, for years and years to come.”
The accuracy of that prediction is visible once again on the Lafourche Parish beach between Elmer’s Island and Port Fourchon, where a line of mud haulers waits to collect BP oil being unearthed by giant excavators digging just yards from the Gulf waves.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in the past few weeks this one spot has yielded 1.5 million pounds of “oily material” – a designation that includes oil products as well as associated shell, sand and water.
And that’s in addition to 1.79 million pounds already collected from Fourchon, by far the largest share of the 8.9 million pounds recovered from all Louisiana beaches in the past two years. Read more.