PHOTOS: BP oil pollutes Louisiana marshes after Hurricane Isaac

September 7, 2012

Greenpeace researcher Jesse Coleman shows oil churned up by Hurricane Isaac that has polluted the marshes of Barataria Bay, Louisiana, one of the areas hardest hit by the BP oil disaster, September 6, 2012

Joe Smyth/Greenpeace

[caption id="attachment_10052" align="alignnone" width="520" caption="Greenpeace researcher Jesse Coleman shows oil churned up by Hurricane Isaac that has polluted the marshes of Barataria Bay, Louisiana, one of the areas hardest hit by the BP oil disaster, September 6, 2012"][/caption] Oil from the 2010 BP disaster is polluting marshes and beaches in Louisiana, churned up by Hurricane Isaac more than two years after that spill devastated this area and other parts of the Gulf Coast. After documenting oil this week on aNational Wildlife Refuge in Alabamaandislands off the coast of Mississippi, Greenpeace and the Gulf Restoration Network investigated the marshes of southern Louisiana, and took samples of oil among the grass, water and soil. According to theNew York Times, oil sampled from these Louisiana marshes this week by state wildlife officials has been fingerprinted as oil from the BP disaster.
[caption id="attachment_10053" align="alignnone" width="520" caption="Oil churned up by Hurricane Isaac pollutes the marshes of Barataria Bay, Louisiana, one of the areas hardest hit by the BP oil disaster, September 6, 2012"][/caption]
In addition to the lasting impacts of the BP oil disaster, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Hurricane Isaactriggered at least 93 pollution incidents, revealing the oil, coal, and chemical industries' lack of preparedness and the consequences of allowing these industries to police themselves. Wedocumented one of these major incidents at the Kinder Morgan coal export terminal, which is pumping coal blackened water out of the facility into the surrounding environment.
[caption id="attachment_10054" align="alignnone" width="520" caption="A dead crab lies in oil churned up by Hurricane Isaac in the marshes of Barataria Bay, Louisiana, September 6, 2012"][/caption]
Some of the oil we found in the Louisiana marshes is weathered tar balls, but much of it is viscous oil that is more toxic and difficult or impossible to remove. Despite BP's advertising campaigns, there is a huge quantity of oil left in the marine environment from the disaster, asGarrett Graves, who oversees the ongoing BP cleanup for the state of Louisianatold CBS News, "BP has up to 1 million barrels of unaccounted oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and I think it will continue to manifest like this hurricane after hurricane for 10 to 20 years unless BP goes out and does a proactive cleanup effort."
[caption id="attachment_10055" align="alignnone" width="520" caption="Oiled boom sits in the marshes of Barataria Bay, Louisiana after Hurricane Isaac churned up oil left in the Gulf of Mexico from the 2010 BP disaster, September 6, 2012"][/caption] As Gulf Coast residents face years or decades of impacts from the BP oil disaster, this is a reminder of what happens when welet oil companies write this countrys energy plan and endanger our coastlines.

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