Far From Over: New Oil Soaks Beaches in Plaquemines Parish; Oil Surfaces on Eastern Side of Barataria Bay


For anybody who doubts there’s any substantial amount of oil left in the Gulf, you might catch the Times-Picayune story about new waves of oil coming ashore. The TP article reminds us just how far we are from getting through this mess: “… 16 miles of coastal beaches in Plaquemines Parish from Sandy Point to Chalon Pass” were lined with black oil and tar balls over the weekend. And anglers are reporting that new oil is surfacing “on the eastern side of Barataria Bay in the Bay Jimmie, Bay Wilkerson and in Bay Baptiste areas.”

These accounts are increasing as more anglers and others actually go out onto the Gulf to see conditions for themselves.

“Everyone thinks this is over, but it’s not – not if we can still get soakings like this,” said Ryan Lambert, owner of a Buras-based fishing business. It’s easy to understand how Mr. Lambert feels like “everyone” thinks this disaster is over – it can sure seem that way – but the sad fact is that nobody we’re talking too, and certainly not our environmental clients, feel this is anywhere near over.

The reason for Mr. Lambert’s concern is that the national spotlight is shifting to the “next story” and, as one local official said weeks ago, BP is packing up its little red wagon and going home. Meanwhile, the damage claims process is apparently overwhelmed and tourist season is over. That’s not a good mix for the Gulf, but this kind of visible oil pollution reminds us and our elected officials that there’s still large quantities of oil in the Gulf – and it’s going to impact us in ways we don’t yet know.

Stay tuned to this story, and you can start here: http://www.nola.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2010/09/new_wave_of_oil_comes_ashore_w.html

© Smith Stag, LLC 2010 – All Rights Reserved

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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