. . . and residents of Bayou Dularge in lower Terrebonne Parish, LA are not looking forward to its arrival.
I wish I could say I was referring to the end of the oil leak and the impending doom. However, this author regrets to inform you that the title refers to the rapidly-spreading oil slick that looks like a four-inch layer of poo poo floating atop the surface in some places, and clinging to marsh grass as the tide recedes.
During the day of Sunday, May 23, 2010, avid sport fisherman, Terry Bourg heard a rumor that someone had seen the presence of oil enroute to some of his favorite fishing spots. Not convinced until he had “seen it with his own eyes”, Bourg headed out with a charter fishing friend and arrived in short time at the exact spot where the oil was located, as though “he had been there once already”.
Bourg, who knows these waters like the back of his hand, reached the oil-blotched area based on the description of the location and by adjusting for current and drift. In a way, though, he wished he had not been able to find the dreaded, brown, viscous oil slick.
Find it he did, and much to his dismay, this find caused him to reflect upon the fact that 75,000 feet of boom still sat at the staging area in Cocodrie, LA. The United States Coast Guard is responsible for the ordering of the deployment of the boom, but someone really dropped the ball where this parish shoreline is concerned.
This past weekend, Governor Jindal once again ramped up his efforts to bring the need for immediate protection for the fragile marshes and eco system of the Terrebonne Estuary system to the attention of the Powers that Be. At the governor’s insistant invitation, USCG Captain Stanton took a helicopter ride to see how an earthen berm had stopped the flow of oil into the marshes north of Elmer’s Island. Afterward, the blackhawks brought the governor and his entourage to the coastline of Terrebonne Parish to see the dire need for the same earthen protection.
After all the show and tell, the moment of truth arrived: A live press conference with Governor Jindal, Parish President Michel Claudet, Representative Gordon Dove, and USCG Captain Stanton. The media flung their questions like arrows, and all the dignitaries answered quickly, briefly, and what seemed to be as honestly as possible. The press conference was running along smoothly until the coast guard captain took the podium.
He fielded his share of questions, and seemed to be holding his own until one reporter nailed him to the proverbial wall. When asked whose job it was to spearhead the protection process, Stanton answered,
“It’s my job to direct this response in Louisiana, absolutely. I’m gonna go right back the tell BP to hire more boats, hire more people, get more boom and put it out.”
Then the gutsy reporter pressed in and asked the good captain why those things had not already been done here, and his answer was truly unbelievable. If I had not seen it on video with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, I might not have believed it.
Captain Stanton answered with a question, “Do we really need to say why?”
To that the reporter replied, “Yes, sir, because we live here and we would like to know.”
With a slight shrug of the shoulders and an almost inaudible chuckle, Stanton mockingly answered, “Well, I guess I’m just slow and dumb.”
I said it before, and I will say it again. The USA does not give one good hoot about the Terrebonne estuary system, the Bayou People who make their living catching seafood for the nation to eat, the plant life, the wildlife, or the marine life . . .
like this endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle found early this morning.
Brent LeBoeuf was motoring along in his workboat, headed to check another wellhead, just another day on the job for him, when he saw an object floating, motionless, on the water. Leboeuf netted the creature, which showed no sign of distress, and discovered only a small amount of crude oil on the turtle.
LeBoeuf then turned his sites to the water surrounding the boat and noticed oily patches all around. We can safely assume that this oil is associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, which continues at this date to release the liquid toxins into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.
The yellow pushpins in the above image mark, from left to right:
My home on Bayou Dularge, the location of the dead sea turtle, and the location of the oily shorelines.
The barrier islands are marked to the south just to give you some idea how far from the gulf we are located.
I will continue to use this venue to update you from a very personal standpoint what is going on down here with the oilspill. Our internet has been out all day, so I’ve traveled 15 miles to impose on a good friend and have been using her FAX, copy machine, computer, and DSL internet service for hours now. Camp Dularge had two more cancellations today, two more fishing rodeos were canceled, and there is no end in sight.
On an otherwise positive note, my wetland tour route has not been affected by the oil, and if everyone does their job to stop it, it never will be. So, please don’t let the oil leak keep you from coming down for your tours and overnight stays at Camp Dularge. Thanks.
Thanks for your prayers and thoughts,