Photos: Oil in Ocean Springs


On the ground with New Orleans-based photographer Jerry Moran: All images taken Aug. 21 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Latitude 30,21.7755N Longitude 88,46.0167W. And keep in mind that authorities have re-opened grounds for fishing, crabbing and shrimping.


These are images I took on the beach in Ocean Springs, due north of the western tip of Horn Island. I was accompanied by local crabbers, Lorrie and Bubba Williams. It was low tide and the beach was covered with oil, sheen and dispersant foam.

This is not surprising since we saw a huge thick blanket of the sheen and dispersant floating in the channel leading out to Horn Island on our recent sampling trip Aug. 8. There were a few dead catfish and crabs on the beach, and some of the marsh reminded me of an island east of Grand Isle which was completely decimated my oil.

The main difference is Ocean Springs is populated and is home to many professional shrimpers, fishermen and crabbers whose lives have been turned upside down by the spill.

Oil appeared to be coming up from under the sand in many places. It may have been covered by tides, as it worked its way back to the water after being pushed up into the marsh, effectively contaminating small inlet waterways. The sand native to Ocean Springs is not red or orange as it appears in the photos, but white (see first image below and compare to other beach images).

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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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