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Oil Spill Cleanup: Saving The Marshes In The Louisiana Bayou

In a recent Field and Stream article, Gulf coast residents and small business owners are expressing concern over the affects of the growing oil spill and where the current relief efforts are being targeted. The Gulf oil spill, roughly the size of Puerto Rico and growing, has already closed fishing east of the Mississippi River and in the Bayou. The concern is for the 186,000 acres of marsh grass and mud and oyster beds, lost ponds and snaking channels, rich with big bull redfish, speckled trout, flounder, black drum, and shrimp. Now, pickup trucks stacked high with crab traps that were pulled from the marshes sit, while the families of these small business owners, local fisherman hope and pray for protection of the Bayou marshes for their own survival.

So far, a north wind and the power of the Mississippi River have kept the oil from reaching these marshes, but who knows how long that can last? The Coast Guard has reported that there is oil on the Chandeleur Islands, well known for it's seafood and sport fishery, would be devastating for local communities. But they are not giving up hope.

Containment boomBayou Map
Open water containment boom is getting overwashed
in very moderate seas.
Local expert indicates areas of the marsh that he thinks
need the most protection.

Local fishing guides are studying the maps of the region and believe that there is a way to save the marshes. They are suspicious of the efforts, of long orange containment booms strung across the mouth of the channels into the marsh. More knowledgable of the local environment, they feel that the containment effort can work, if placed in the right area.

“The only ones that will work are the ones that close off the smaller channels. On these long reaches, the booms are already overwashed, and this isn't even a wind in here. This is nothing."

The smallest waves pound at the booms, splash over them, the current (surprisingly fierce, for this whole place, which sometimes looks still, is in constant motion) forces them into great snaking loops here and there. “We have to protect the interior of the marsh. That's the nursery, and that's the only place where the booms will hold." 

Video: Fishing guides Travis Holeman and Jonathan Sanchez describe where they think
the oil booms should be located, and why.

See related information links below for oil spill control and oil cleanup products, such as oil absorbent pads, sorbent rolls and absorbent booms. These are absorbent products specifically designed to selectively absorb oil and not water.

Note: absorbent booms actually soak up the oil, while containment booms referenced in the article are used as a vinyl barrier to prevent and contain oil spills from expanding into other areas.
Containment booms do not absorb oil.

Link to Field and Stream Article:

Oil Spill Live: Will the Booms Protect the Marshes?

Credit: Field & Stream Contributing Editor Hal Herring and photographer/ FlyTalk blogger Tim Romano coverage of the impact of the oil spill on the region's sportsmen. Their reports, photographs, and videos are posted at
The Conservationist blog link above.

Related Information:

What homeowners can do...
Oil Spill Protection - Protect your Property

What Contractors and businesses can do...
Gulf Spill Cleanup and Protection





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