WARNING: Don’t go into the water. Really?

Beach Advisory

(This post was edited at 9:30 p.m. after having received a call from the DHH explaining that I posted some misinformation.  I suggest that you visit the link below, and read what they have to say and form your own conclusions as to whether or not you want to swim in any brackish waters any time this summer.  Okay, read on.)

Really and truly, don’t go into the water without first checking the Department of Health and Hospitals advisory for the beach you intend to visit, as they test 25 spots at beaches across the coast for a couple of  naturally-occurring bacteria: fecal coliform and enterococci.  If high levels are detected, then an advisory is posted.

At the same time, though, the DHH mentions in their news release here, that four people contracted another bacteria, Vibrio Vulnificus, (which DHH does not test for), while swimming in coastal waters, and one of those victims has died.  They don’t clarify when this was, whether current, in the past, cumulative or what.  The fact that they mention it at all is a disturbing warning, at the least.  The DHH release also states that if you are a healthy person with no open sores on your body, you should be fine taking a dip in coastal waters this summer.

I don’t have any plans to swim along the coast or in any of the nearby inland lakes, but maybe you do have that in mind.  If you are immune compromised, elderly, have a compromised liver, or have open sores anywhere on your body, you might want to stay out of the waters in coastal Louisiana. While I’m not trying to be a killjoy, I did have my own battle with Vibrio Vulnificus last September, and it’s something I wouldn’t wish (well, maybe I would) on my worst enemy, because it is THAT BAD.

However, it might make you feel better to know that I was not swimming when my finger got infected.  I was fishing in an inland brackish lake.  Actually, I was cracking blue crab with my bare hands and putting it on the hooks of my fishing clients.  Some said my talking about my experience on this blog would hurt my business, but as long as I am the only one touching the bait crabs and shrimp and the only one taking the fish off the hooks, then it really shouldn’t matter.  I’m really more concerned about innocent victims, like myself, than I am about scaring away potential fishing clients.  If you have the stomach for it, you can read the full account of my experience in this post from last year.

When folks describe this as flesh-eating, well, I don’t think they’re joking about that either.  I could literally feel the bacteria eating away at the flesh under the skin on my finger, as the necrotic flesh turned dark purple.  Don’t be fooled by the lack of fever, either, as I had no fever with this tyrant of a bacterial infection.

Day 4 of Infection

Day 4 of Infection

The pain was excruciating and was part of the reason I finally gave in and went to the Emergency Room after watching this thing spread for four days.  Hard headed?  Well, yes, I’ve been called that time or two.

All fun aside, this is nothing to play around with.  Please check the bacteria counts at the DHH website for waters in your area before you expose yourself, kids, or grand kids to the warm Gulf-fed waters.  Most of the time, levels are such that our bodies are not affected.  But when levels are high, and you have a cut or wound, then conditions are prime for the nasty critters to set up housekeeping.

I just want you to have a very safe and happy 4th of July, but this year you might want to stick to the swimming pool and grilled burgers in the backyard!

Happy Independence Day, folks!

BW

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Comments

WARNING: Don’t go into the water. Really? — 101 Comments

  1. I remember when this happened to you and YUK! You don’t have to tell me twice….nasty nasty bug bacteria! Thanks for the good informational post…..

  2. Yuk here also. I also remember reading about your ordeal. Thanks for getting the message out.

    Happy Independence day to you and your family.

  3. Avast – a horrible experience to be sure! Yet another reason we need to keep a closer eye on our wetlands and waterways..
    Curious that it would be warned of in salt water – being the great cleanser o’ things. Makes ye wonder if there’s some relation to all the other chemical soup they dumped into it recently. Bacteria like this usually thrive in more stagnant water – and usually fresh water (The Great Lakes have had their issues with all sorts; especially parts o’ Lake Ontario lately).

    Be safe out there mates…and enjoy yer Independence Day!

    “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” (Nelson Mandela)

    • Vibrio Vulnificus has been around along time– some medical archaeologist think there is evidence that it was the disease that killed Herod Antipas.
      Not new most fisherman I know keep a tube of triple antibiotic in their tackle box for the slightest scratch–

  4. I read an article on WWL TV online yesterday. It mentioned one person in the Houma area who contracted the nasty thing. I wondered if they were referring to you.

    I, too, remember vividly your traumatic episode of last year. It was frightening to say the least. I’m so grateful yours didn’t spread more than it did and was finally cleared up after much pain on your part.

    Thanks for the warning to all your readers out there. It can happen anywhere.

  5. I’ m glad you are posting this for ppl to understand that this is real and very dangerous. I am very glad that you survived it to warn ppl with compromised immune systems to beware. Unfortunatly my dad didn’t survive his battle. When hurricane Rita came thru here is when he contracted it. It was just horrifing, we watched him suffer for 29 days before he passed now anytime I see ppl in the water it terrifies me. So glad you are here to spread the word.

    • If I recall the story which I think was about your father, he was walking in the floodwaters with shrimp boots on? The boots rubbed the back of his leg raw, and that is where the bacteria entered? I’m so sorry for your loss, and I remember at the time thinking how tragic and almost surreal the whole ordeal. Thank you for sharing with us, Tammy.

  6. What I would like to know is, how do they clear up the bacteria in the ocean???…and thanks for the warning…lets hope people stay out of the water.

    • Since all the bacteria are naturally occurring at varying levels throughout the year, nothing can be done to clean up the oceans in this regard!!! Welcome to the bayou, and please stop by any time!

  7. That is awful! I know the natural balance of the waters near the gulf states is way off due to that awful spill and the storm action in the last few years.These nasty bugs proliferate in the imbalance.

  8. Grand Isle is not under any advisory according to the DHH website. It’s the same thing every summer when the water gets warm. If you have had Staph Infection, Vibrio Vulnificus, a low immune system or elderly then you should ALWAYS take precautions.

    • Hey, B. Pizani, you are right. I read four different news reports on this topic, and I guess a couple of them expounded more than necessary, leading me to think that the DHH was also testing for Vibrio, which they are not. I received a call from DHH this afternoon letting me know the errant information I had posted. I am looking to see if he accepted my invitation to leave a comment clearing this up for us. Thanks for you input.

  9. Still don’t know if it was the duct tape adhesive or the boat gas that saved me after laying hand open fishing with CwitdeR.

    Be careful and be clean people.

  10. It’s an odd coincidence that you should bring this subject up again now. There was an article in our paper just this weekend (I think) about SC beaches not testing well, bacteria-wise. SC is rated 26th in beachwater quality, out of 30 states tested.

    Like you, I wondered why there was no mention of inland waterways that drain TO the ocean. All of the various marsh boating areas, the Intracoastal waterway, the Santee Canal, the ACE Basin, etc. – places that draw the fishermen/women and recreational boaters.

    Folk would likely think twice about dipping their toes into posted water but go right on about their business in unposted waters, even if the risk there is really greater.

    I would agree that salt water seems like it would be less suitable for bacteria than brackish water.

  11. Dang Gue’ I was just fixing to lay it off on the oils companies! All they stuff they sprayed to help keep the oil in spension after BP. It is supposed to do that and the break down into water. When Ms. BW got it before I was wondering then if that might have had an influience upon it. Also with the water temp rising maybe stuff can live better now that before….. (shrugs)

    I am sure glad I am past my wild and crazy days, I would be dead these day for sure. I always said I was gonna wait and die at 90 from a gun shot from an 21 year old jealous husband.

    • Let me reiterate the conditions under which I was infected. It was just after Hurricane Isaac had churned up the waters here. It was September, and the water had been HOT for months, so the bacteria were plentiful. The Vibrio Vulnificus are concentrated in the intestinal tract of the blue crab, and I cracked about 3 dozen, and all the intestines touched my fingers every time. I cracked so many, that my middle finger must have gotten at least a scratch, and that let them in. Sorry, I just had to remind you about all that. I don’t think it had anything to do with the dispersant Corexit.

      • My brother-in-law and family were at Ship Island and he stepped on a crab trap..Long story short, he was near death in about 2 days, when my sister convinced him to go to the E.R., needless to say it was almost too late…He has had a leg removed and several surgeries and still more to endure, no one can say if he will survive this ordeal as he is 70…I personally think everyone should be warned about this coastal water and though my entire family and their children are avid boaters and stay in the water summer long….no one could have expected something of this degree…The pain and suffering he and his wife and children and grown grand children have gone through is heart breaking, I have raised two sons and four grandchildren and I will not bring them to swim at the beach…To each his own, but, people need to be warned, Thank you for sharing your experience. From Mississippi

        • Wow, Gloria, what a tragic story. We all think of the beach as being such a wonderful place filled with memories of frolic and shell finding, and I can’t help but wonder (and maybe I shall do some homework on this) why we never heard of this killing people when we were younger? Thanks for sharing your story, and I know it was painful for him and his family. I pray he will overcome this horrible thing, and I guess we all just have to a little more diligent about where and when we swim.

      • It sure makes sense that those conditions would increase the likelihood of Vibrio Vulnificus infections. Churn the muck up, heat the water and the crabs feed in it. Handle the crabs’ innards and get one little scratch…

        You’ve done a service, in reminding us all to be careful.

  12. This bacteria is nothing new. Had a friend of mine lose a finger in the late 60’s to the same bug. Weird thing is you never know whom it will infect. Also, one must have a break in the skin to contract the virus.

  13. It’s from all the COREXIT they sprayed in the Gulf. I’m from Louisiana, moved away years ago and i can’t believe people still eat Gulf seafood after that.

    • Welcome to the bayou, Andre. It’s great if you needed to move elsewhere and that you’ve been able to make a go of it. But not all of us have skills that allow us to move away from the wetlands from which we make our living. Your comments are welcome here, but I’d appreciate it if you would not criticize anyone while you’re here. The growth of bacteria and the infection I got in my finger were NOT from the Corexit, by the way.

  14. I remember how sick you were! I’m so glad you recovered completely from it. Too bad the bacteria levels are high when most people would want to be in the water. Hope you have a happy 4th!

  15. Although I realize YOUR bacteria got in through a cut, don’t you understand that the fish your customers (and you?) are eating are rife with this bacteria?

    Even if you don’t get a flesh-eating bacteria on the outside, you are ingesting these bacteria as well as the nasty chemicals that stagnated the water that then allowed them to flourish in that area.

    How can people not understand this?

    • Welcome to the bayou. Do you have a name? Do you realize your mouth is rife with bacteria? (rife, what a great word!). Your moniker is Well Read, so I invite you to hang around here a while and read more about the culture and way of life before assuming we don’t understand something you see differently. We don’t have stagnant water here. The tide comes in bringing nutrients and oxygen to water, plants, and marine life, and the tide falls taking out the toxins. This happens daily. So, I’m not sure exactly what it is we’re not understanding? The nasty chemicals to which you refer might be in the Mississippi River, but on this bayou we are about 60 miles west of the mouth of the river. The only dangerous bacteria that one might ingest by eating would be in a raw oyster, unless you happen to swallow some brackish water, which we try really hard not to do! All these bacteria are killed in the proper cooking of fish and shell fish. Nice chatting with you!

    • of course the fish are edible and so are the shrimp and fish. We clean fish every week and have been for 2 yrs now. .and nothing is wrong with any fish. And shrimp is good and crabs. Tests was done many times and its ok and fishing is great and nobody has any complaints .so no need to assume the worst. when its not true . I haven’t heard anyone getting any kind infections and we go to beach everyday and swim. use your own judgment swimming are going into any waters with cuts .but for last 2 yrs I been here its all be great .seafood is all good water is safe ..so people come have fun and don’t panic are worry over what happen to one person ..don’t mean it will happen to you ..everything is fine here ..so have great time and eat all seafood you want and enjoy ya summer. .everyone else is..

    • I haven’t had time to study the article you link, and I don’t have time tonight and I wont’ have time in the morning. I am going to approve your comment and let my readers check it our for themselves and we’ll get back to this discussion as soon as I get off the water from a fishing charter and 4th celebration. Maybe Friday. If there is a connection, it would be good to know. I am always open to being corrected.

    • Yes, there are quite a few bacteria out there that we never hear about, but again, it is the rare case when it happens. I’m sorry it happened to you, and I hope you are completely over it by now! Thanks for stopping by.

  16. The meat industry caused this with antibiotic abuse (80% of antibiotics manufactured in USA is used as a growth stimulant with factory farm animals to put meat on your table). The “run off” (feces) which is also full of antibiotics and superbugs is dumped into the water.

  17. I think you need to stock up on some Neem Oil, Tea Tree Oil and Coconut oil…. all with antibacterial, antibiotic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

  18. This thread is excellent for the accurate info about vulnificus and the GOM. Hats off to the author and the commenters. I didn’t see this posted earlier so let me comment on two issues:

    It is not possible for Corexit 9500 used during that spill to have anything to do with this outbreak whatsoever. 1) The chemicals in Corexit do not bioaccumulate or persist in the water or soil – they break down quickly in the sun, and/or are volitile and evaporate quickly; 2) The detergents in Corexit occur in more industrial products than can be enumerated, so if any should still be in the Gulf they could have come from anywhere; 3) the substances causing bacterial blooms of Vibrio during the spill (which some suggest are at work now) were contained in the oil itself – hydrocarbon compounds that served as a carbon source for them to grow, NOT the dispersant.

    Regarding seafood: 1) Again, neither crude/refined oil nor dispersant bioaccumulate in animals, period. Damages to the fish resource from a spill have to be estimated (read up on NRDA/Restoration planning) because they cannot be measured – fish, whales, dolphins, etc posses the CYP450 enzyme system that metabolizes oil and turns it into metabolites that are excreted, so by the time you get there the oil has been processed. 2) Even if it DID bioaccumulate (which it doesn’t), you don’t eat the parts where it would be – muscle tissue isn’t the right type of tissue for storage of toxins. 3) Oil spills have occurred as long as people have inhabited the GOM, so if it were a significant threat it would have already had noticeable effects on the people of the region. For that matter, parasites, muscle lesions, fish kills, etc. are not new for fish either.

    I’m not saying any spill was good or that oil isn’t harmful to animals and the environment, but do remember that while the media’s job is to report, sensationalism can be profitable too 😉 LA continues to have among the best seafood in the country, and LDWF Fisheries biologists are like navy seals of biology.

    Disclosure – I’ve a MS and PhD in Fisheries and Aquaculture (oyster breeding and farming) with concentration in molecular biology, and I worked at the frontlines of the spill for 2 years collecting animal data, and I have no affiliation whatsoevver to any oil company or governmental agency.

    Thank you, Ms. Bayouwoman, for hearing me out.

    • You are welcome, Mr. Lang. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us and helping to clarify some of the misconceptions which abound. I certainly hope, though, that by sensationalism, you’re not referring to this piece, as I took the information straight from the DHH news release. I would hope they would not stand to profit from any kind of over exaggerating of the facts! Wisdom is always welcome here, especially when it’s offered gently and respectfully and not in a critical way. I hope you will come back and visit this bayou blog again on topics less controversial! I look forward to reading more comments from you in the near future! BW

      • I don’t mean to imply sensationalism on DHH’s part at all – if anything, their dissemination of information is a great service to our state.

        • to be clear, the media’s linkage of every thing bad on our coast to the BP spill (as if that were the only disaster ever to befall us) tends towards sensationalism, in my opinion, because it’s a hot-button issue bound to draw in readership.

    • I’m sorry for getting the thread off track way back when. Plain fact is, LA has great seafood, is a fantastic place to tour and explore (particularly during our incredible Spring – this year was outstanding), and I boldly speak for many of us when I say that the whole BP Spill/Seafood safety thing was old a year ago, we’re tired of the false spin and want to move on. Y’all take care.

  19. Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your awful experience. I wish you the best in your healing process. I came across this blog while researching local vacation spots. As an outsider I would never have known. Great blog story.

    • Hi Brigitte! I certainly hope this little piece doesn’t keep you from traveling to coastal Louisiana if that is what you had in mind. We have such a diverse and unique way of life down on the bayous and welcome visitors with open arms and full plates!!!

  20. This happened to my neighbor 3 weeks ago-fishing in a brackish pond-just got out of hospital yesterday-prayer and great doctors saved his life-a very sick, sick man-very lucky to be alive! This is REAL! It will KILL you

    • Brenda, if you don’t mind, would you please tell us what geographical area he was fishing? I’m just curious how far inland he might’ve been at the time. As I said, I was fishing in a brackish lake, but it was the blue crab I was handling that carried the bacteria. I’ve done this for years without any negative results, and I reiterate that it is rare that someone contracts this infection. Thank you for your comment, and I’m so glad that your neighbor will make a full recovery.

  21. To my veteran readers: Thought y’all might be as flabbergasted by this as I am–since I posted this, it has been seen nearly 87,000 times. Seems like this post went viral on Facebook yesterday. I was sitting at a friend’s camp celebrating the 4th and some of their guests arrived from Thibodaux, whom I’d never met before. During the introductions, our host mentioned that I write a blog and mentioned this particular post and she said, ” OH MY GOSH! Is that YOUR finger that’s all over Facebook?” Well, heck, I’d been out fishing all day and had no clue that this post had gone viral!!!! So, be careful what you say in comments as they might possibly be read by 100K folks, LOL!!!!!

  22. Yea 20 years ago I caught a rare vascular disease and it is still in my blood and will always be ….when it comes I cant walk or move very much at all and it affects my mouth to it gives me sores and my tounge gets raw yea not good at all …ive been out of work for over a year with this last episode …I was cut by an oyster shell and washed the blood off in the water …..im not saying dont swim in the gulf water just be safe wear beach shoes and take great care of open cuts don’t swim with open cuts and if you do keep them extra sanitized ….im Keith Dunn and that is my story ..I will try to post one or two pics ..

    • also if anyone has these problems and cant get answers like I did go to new Orleans they seem to know much more than Terrebonne general on this and more than thibadoux ive been to both they don’t have much history on vascular disease its from England I think ..im not speaking bad about our hospitals but this is very serious and cant be played with the small term cure is prednisone steroids …around 60 mg. a day for a while then it slowly cuts down …

      • I’m approving your comments, Keith, because it’s a terrible thing you’ve suffered, however, this is a blog about bayou life and I hesitate relating any type of medical advice here!! I hope you understand! Again, I’m so sorry you have suffered this terrible affliction. Thanks again for stopping by!

  23. bayou woman …I see that a lot of people think we should just pack up and move off this bayou ……well it dosent matter where you live there are multiples of bacteria everywhere ….unless you live in a bubble you live around bacteria I hope you didn’t think I was putting you and your living down cause I would never ….as of the seafood I eat it at least 3 or 4 times a week since I myself have been affected 21 years ago the seafood is clean at least we catch our food most people don’t know where their food has been or who touched it …I still go fish and swim now and then I live in theriot la how could I not?

  24. OK, well now that we have that all done, lets start in on Jim Garrison and the Kennedy investigation!

    Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? Jimmy Hoffa!

    Its a conspiracy I tell you! A Conspiracy!! They are putting secret mind controlling additives in the milk during the process of homogenizing whole milk.

    LOL…… But its a large comment section all cause you gave all those folks on facebook the finger.

    • Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, chuckle chuckle chuckle!!! Yes, I am now known by my middle finger!!! You cracked me up!!!! Seriously, now! This post has been seen by over 90,000 people in four days!!! I can’t say that they all read it to completion, because we all know most folks on FB and Twitter won’t read more than 120 characters at once, but hey, at least they clicked over, drove up the traffic, and possibly made WordPress sit up and take notice again!!! I’m just amazed at how social media can work so quickly. No wonder FB posts have caused wars in other countries!!!!! I don’t know whose buried where, but we could go ahead and talk about it if you really like!

    • Okay, you lost me with that question. WHAT in the world are you talking about? Bird Woman? Oh wait, I think my brain just kicked in. As in the middle finger being the bird finger? LOL! Oh my gosh, you just made me choke!!!! You come back from Mississippi all full of foolishness, don’t you? LOL!

  25. I figured you might get a chuckle, but I sure didn’t expect you to choke. Please refrain from eating or drinking while reading. It could be bad for your health!

  26. I remember when you went in the hospital for that… I’m just as stubborn as you are and maybe more so. Not sure if I’d be here to talk about it if it had happened to me! My Mom ate some boiled crawfish and also trimmed her rose bushes and got something really similar. Within two days, her finger looked just like yours. She went to the doctor and they gave her antibiotics – two kinds and told her it was from the rose bushes…some sort of fungus called Sporotrichosis. However, the treatment for that is 12 weeks and the onset 1-4 weeks… Not in her case…so I’m doubting the diagnosis… Thank God, the antibiotics cleared it all up.

    This topic is well worth repeating again and again every summer…we all need to be reminded! Thanks BW for reminding us!

  27. Hello again. I don’t see you asking “Foamheart” or “theologianscafe” if they have a name, but since you asked, yes, of course I have a given name. It happens to be Bayou Woman, just like your given name, but I didn’t want people to confuse us. : )

    Just had to reply to Paul’s response, in case there is anyone reading this who wants the facts from someone who is not making a living from the Gulf waters, and thus has nothing to lose by seeking the truth.

    The fact is, these chemicals most certainly DO bioaccumulate. For all of Paul’s fancy letters after his name, he is ultimately an oyster farmer, just as you are someone who makes a living off people who believe it’s safe to fish in those waters.

    A cursory (‘nother good word for those who enjoy them) Google search brought up this link from The Petroleum Institute (lest you think I would give you some “biased” environmental organization) from 1997. (No, basic biology has not changed in that time.)–
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:t8qjqvVsEkIJ:http://www.api.org/environment-health-and-safety/clean-water/surface-water-quality/~/media/files/ehs/clean_water/ground_water_quality/4656-1997.ashx%2Bbioaccumulation+petroleum&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&hl=en&ct=clnk

    Here’s another link examining the actual chemicals and pollutants in the Gulf water as a result of the spill:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/07/10/toxicologist-shrimpers-exposed-oilcorexit-mix-suffered-bleeding-rectum/

    “Shrimpers who were exposed to a mixture of oil and Corexit dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico suffered severe symptoms such as muscle spasms, heart palpitations, headaches that last for weeks and bleeding from the rectum, according to a marine toxicologist who issued the warning Friday on a cable news network.”

    Although you’ll read that the EPA claims all the chemicals are safe, you’ll see in the next sentence that they contradict themselves at other times. The scientist in the article has actually done independent testing.

    Do what you want, folks, but remember to follow the money when it comes to who’s giving what message and whether they have a dog in the fight.

    • Touche`. When this little blog started, it was with close friends and family who knew who I was. You are so right about Bayou Woman not being my given name. I forget that this blog has grown and that new folks don’t know who I am, except that my given name is easily found on other pages of this blog. I’m assuming you are a new reader and don’t know me from Eve. Foamheart is a personal friend, so I know who that is. Again, I stand corrected. That other person is a newbie with whom I’ve not made any kind of connection, so again, your observation is spot on that I didn’t ask for a real name. So, you will continue to be Well Read, as you desire.

      This post started as a re-posting of information released by the DHH. It wasn’t intended to be a debate about Corexit, the oil spill, or other chemicals and issues. If you choose not to eat seafood from the Gulf, that is your choice. However, in this very specific bayou where we live, we have continued to eat the shrimp, fish, crabs, and oysters. No one in my family has been ill whatsoever. But I can’t speak for anyone in areas closer to the spill and the dispersant. Like you, I only know what I read about those other areas. And in a radio show about whether or not the seafood was safe, I pointed out that location and logistics were key in answering that question. However, the rest of the nation has no clue that there might be areas that WERE NOT inundated with oil, not impacted by dispersant, where the people are not ill, and where the seafood is safe to eat–like where I live. So, as long as we’re not sick from eating very local seafood, I will continue to support my commercial fishing neighbors. (After reading your comment again, I see that you are actually accusing me of downplaying any kind of threat to the fish that I catch and feed my family because I make a living off fishing. Fishing charters are a very small percentage of my income, and I do believe you’ve wrongly accused me of being underhanded. Interesting. And again, I’m easily found, yet I have no clue who you are–other than someone who has chosen to call me out.)

    • Fail. I’m not a farmer, I’m a molecular geneticist who studied fish and oysters for MS and PhD respectively. With that info alone I promise that certain groups now know exactly who I am and know that I am most certainly NOT a farmer, contractor, or oil company staff of any kind. I just happen to understand at a chemical and molecular level what oil and dispersant does and does not do. Now, care to do some real fact checking beyond a Google search? I can use my fancy letters to school you with some actual peer reviewed ‘science’ if you wish. Or you can troll elsewhere?

    • “People who make a living off the Bayou”? Ye mean folks who have lived off the wetlands here for generations before oil/gas companies came to this area? Folks who feed their families and their neighbours families from the bounty provided by nature in S. Louisiana? Folks who make an effort to educate others about life in the wetlands and the cultures o’ Louisiana? Aye…those people.

      One o’ the above mentioned article is from “The American Petroleum Institute” based in Missouri. Considering the death & destruction o’ the wetlands caused DIRECTLY in the name o’ the Petroleum Industry, I wouldn’t trust API not to have an agenda…or at least a good bribe or three. Read on MacDuff…

      “The American Petroleum Institute, commonly referred to as API, is the largest U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. It claims to represent about 400 corporations involved in production, refinement, distribution, and many other aspects of the petroleum industry.
      The association’s chief functions on behalf of the industry include advocacy and negotiation with governmental, legal, and regulatory agencies; research into economic, toxicological, and environmental effects; establishment and certification of industry standards; and education outreach. API both funds and conducts research related to many aspects of the petroleum industry. The current CEO is Jack Gerard.
      It has many front groups, including the NH Energy Forum that in August 2011 hosted a New Hampshire event for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.” [Wikipedia]

      Not exactly an “unbiased” view; or one in the best interest o’ the folks who live here.

      “Until Lions have historians, history will favour the Hunters”

  28. Hello again. I don’t see you asking “Foamheart” or “theologianscafe” if they have a name, but since you asked, yes, of course I have a given name. It happens to be Bayou Woman, just like your given name, but I didn’t want people to confuse us. : )

    Just had to reply to Paul’s response, in case there is anyone reading this who wants the facts from someone who is not making a living from the Gulf waters, and thus has nothing to lose by seeking the truth.

    The fact is, these chemicals most certainly DO bioaccumulate. For all of Paul’s fancy letters after his name, he is ultimately an oyster farmer, just as you are someone who makes a living off people who believe it’s safe to fish in those waters.

    A cursory (‘nother good word for those who enjoy them) Google search brought up this link from The Petroleum Institute (lest you think I would give you some “biased” environmental organization) from 1997. (No, basic biology has not changed in that time.)–
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:t8qjqvVsEkIJ:http://www.api.org/environment-health-and-safety/clean-water/surface-water-quality/~/media/files/ehs/clean_water/ground_water_quality/4656-1997.ashx%2Bbioaccumulation+petroleum&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&hl=en&ct=clnk

    Here’s another link examining the actual chemicals and pollutants in the Gulf water as a result of the spill:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/07/10/toxicologist-shrimpers-exposed-oilcorexit-mix-suffered-bleeding-rectum/

    “Shrimpers who were exposed to a mixture of oil and Corexit dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico suffered severe symptoms such as muscle spasms, heart palpitations, headaches that last for weeks and bleeding from the rectum, according to a marine toxicologist who issued the warning Friday on a cable news network.”

    Although you’ll read that the EPA claims all the chemicals are safe, you’ll see in the next sentence that they contradict themselves at other times. The scientist in the article has actually done independent testing.

    Do what you want, folks, but remember to follow the money when it comes to who’s giving what message and whether they have a dog in the fight.

  29. Hello again. I don’t see you asking “Foamheart” or “theologianscafe” if they have a name, but since you asked, yes, of course I have a given name. It happens to be Bayou Woman, just like your given name, but I didn’t want people to confuse us. : )

    Just had to reply to Paul’s response, in case there is anyone reading this who wants the facts from someone who is not making a living from the Gulf waters, and thus has nothing to lose by seeking the truth.

    The fact is, these chemicals most certainly DO bioaccumulate. For all of Paul’s fancy letters after his name, he is ultimately an oyster farmer, just as you are someone who makes a living off people who believe it’s safe to fish in those waters.

    A cursory (‘nother good word for those who enjoy them) Google search brought up this link from The Petroleum Institute (lest you think I would give you some “biased” environmental organization) from 1997. (No, basic biology has not changed in that time.)–
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:t8qjqvVsEkIJ:http://www.api.org/environment-health-and-safety/clean-water/surface-water-quality/~/media/files/ehs/clean_water/ground_water_quality/4656-1997.ashx%2Bbioaccumulation+petroleum&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&hl=en&ct=clnk

    Here’s another link examining the actual chemicals and pollutants in the Gulf water as a result of the spill:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/07/10/toxicologist-shrimpers-exposed-oilcorexit-mix-suffered-bleeding-rectum/

    “Shrimpers who were exposed to a mixture of oil and Corexit dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico suffered severe symptoms such as muscle spasms, heart palpitations, headaches that last for weeks and bleeding from the rectum, according to a marine toxicologist who issued the warning Friday on a cable news network.”

    Although you’ll read that the EPA claims all the chemicals are safe, you’ll see in the next sentence that they contradict themselves at other times. The scientist in the article has actually done independent testing.

    Do what you want, folks, but remember to follow the money when it comes to who’s giving what message and whether they have a dog in the fight.

  30. Ha ha ha. Moderated out, eh? I guess you only want to hear thoughts if they coincide with your desire for financial gain. Not facts. Bye.

    • Hi Well Read. I didn’t moderate out anything. Your comment is right here, unedited!!! Scroll UP and you will see your comment AND my reply to you. Financial gain? This is a free blog, not a commercial one, and doesn’t make me a dime.

    • T – it depends on what you mean by bay area. Which bay area? If it’s not the pure salty water of the Gulf, then there is the potential for the bacteria to be present in those waters and marine life. I just read of a man from Gonzales who slipped and scraped his ankle on the rocks while wade fishing at Grand Isle. He had a terrible bout with Vibrio after that, including hospitalization and multiple surgeries. He’s lucky he didn’t lose his foot or his life. I’m not trying to scare you, but we must use caution. It’s nothing to play around with.

      • Bay Area as in GI. If you go to La Dept of Health & Hospitals website, GI has seven different beaches classified. Just recently, advisories were only for two beaches out of the seven, but yet the area is so very close to the others. The two advisories were on the beach side. Yes, I did see the article on La sportsmen magazine of the man from Chauvin. Caution is definitely being taken with my family and friends. Thank you !

        • If you’ll notice, I link to their advisory page in the article!!! Anyone who plans to swim in the coastal waters should be familiar with that advisory, don’t you think? You are doing the right thing, because as much as we like to play in the surf in the hot summer months, out lives are just more valuable than that. Take care!

  31. Cute. After I posted something about being moderated out, you *then* allow my post, and decry my comments. Good to be the moderator. Never said, BTW, that this blog was commercial, I was talking about how you make your living- taking people fishing in the Gulf.

    Nonetheless, for those who are truly interested in the safety of the waters, I submit this recent peer-reviewed, published study:
    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-gulf-shrimp-widely-contaminated-carcinogens

    Seafood contamination after the BP Gulf oil spill and risks to vulnerable populations: a critique of the FDA risk assessment. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Feb ;120(2):157-61. Epub 2011 Oct 3. PMID: 21990339

    • The oil spill and dispersant has nothing to do with the purpose of this blog post and the DHH warning, which was to take caution when swimming in coastal waters due to the potential presence of 3 bacteria, including Vibrio Vulnificus.

      I’ve had more than enough of your insults, and your accusing me of lying about moderating you out is an attack on my credibility. So, I will say again, if you want to continue to take pot shots at me, then make yourself known. You certainly know who I am. And for your (lack of blogging) information, new readers’ comments (ALL NEW READERS) sit in a cue until I can get to them to either “approve” or “trash” them. Folks who are veterans here and have signed in and been approved numerous times do not have to wait in moderation. As you might have noticed, your two newest comments came right up WITHOUT having to be approved because you have now been “approved” several times by the moderator.

      Nonetheless, I will no longer allow your comments if you feel you have to discredit me and basically call me a liar on my own blog.

      Let me reiterate: I never stopped eating the seafood IN THIS AREA–a very specific inland area. My entire family has eaten the shrimp, crabs, and oysters my neighbors caught, AND the fish we’ve caught. This is a decision I have made and the information I give when I’m asked. If you were sincerely trying to protect me and my family from poisoning ourselves, then you’ve certainly gone about it in an ugly way. If we get some kind of disease somewhere down the line from continuing to eat the seafood, then it will probably never be blamed on contaminated seafood, anyway.

      If you continue to insult me and call me a liar, then you will be deleted, banned, and blocked. However, if you apologize and can comment respectfully, without insolence, then you are welcome here.

      Sincerely,
      Bayou Woman
      Capt. Wendy Billiot

    • Good Lord, you’re serving us citations that actually support my earlier comments. I guess since your google search hit some sexy words you thought would give you the last laugh.

      I’m not responding to you anymore. If you have some free time while sipping organic lattes at starbucks, learn what LOC and Risk Assessment means, and how that differs from the blanket “OMG pullushun” argument. Learn how to read a science paper, especially understanding the context within which they use the words COULD and POTENTIALLY. Learn how statistical testing works and what it means. Actually read the article from Marine Pollution Bulletin. Understand that these data pertain to animals caught during an active oil spill, not three years later. And as I said before, offer some real input, not a cut and paste from a Green lobbyist group.

      I’m not implying that non-scientists are dumb, but I offer the analogy that if you want to argue scripture, read the Bible first.

      Capt. – love the blog. Consider me a follower.

      • Paul, thanks so much for your eloquent and educated retort and also your kind words; however, I decided just this week, based on advice from someone I trust implicitly, Well Read has been banned from this blog. I will most likely be deleting our exchange shortly. Thanks again, and it’s great to have you on board. BW

  32. “People who make a living off the Bayou”? Ye mean folks who have lived off the wetlands here for generations before oil/gas companies came to this area? Folks who feed their families and their neighbours (sic) families from the bounty provided by nature in S. Louisiana?”

    Aye, cap’n. Them thar’s exactly who I mean. People who are still feeding their families and selling to the public, even though the water has been poisoned. It doesn’t matter how many generations one has “worked” an area, once that area has become toxic.

    And yes, I sent the article from the American Petroleum Institute knowing full well they were the ones who poisoned the Gulf. It’s called “irony” that they would have published a paper explicitly delineating the problems they found with petroleum and dispersants in bodies of water, just a few years before they wreaked those very chemicals all over your Gulf. It adds to the credibility of the article that it was published by the very organization who would prefer to hide that information later. See?

    • Actually my point in mentioning an “agenda” was more in light o’ the fact that the “Petroleum Industry” would be jumping for joy if they could get everyone to leave the Bayou (Indigenous People, Residents, Visitors, etc.) – they are not at all concerned for the LIFE in the Bayou, only the natural gas and oil they can drill out of it. They’ve been irresponsibly dredging canals for years – the largest contributing factor to land loss across S. Louisiana.
      So, no, not really ironic – more likely overstated to create panic, destroy the seafood industry further…etc.

      I too have eaten seafood pulled straight out o’ the Bayou whee Capt. Wendy lives – some just an hour from being caught. Crabs, Oysters, Fish…I’ve splashed the water on my face and arms…and in fact, folks in that area (as in many that are right “on” the Bayous) are using well water, so their tap water, showers and such all use pretty much the same water – all with no issues. These folks are not ignoring the problem – they are more aware of it than anyone – but they have checked, tested and come up clean.

      Capt. Wendy is part o’ my extended family – as are others in Louisiana…and they LIVE here and yes, WORK here. OF course they make a living off the land and educating visitors about it, taking them fishing and such is part o’ how they feed their families. HOWEVER, they do this to educate, truthfully, about Bayou life – good and bad – so turning a blind eye or lying as ye may have suggested, is not in their best interest. People will listen, learn, appreciate – and most will tend to learn more when they get home. Many return to read this blog – in fact many who read this blog COME TO the Bayou to visit and learn more about the culture and life here!

      This is their home…when ye visit, it pays to be polite, respectful and patient. People work hard to accomplish what they have – soft times harder than other parts o’ the country, so they get a bit protective if they think someone is attacking their way o’ life (as anyone would). Things may not happen as quickly as yer used to – but they get done – and around these parts, they tend to get done properly, truthfully and respectfully. Ye follow?

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