The toxic mess left in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster continues to negatively impact Gulf Coast ecosystems as the second phase of the BP trial begins in New Orleans.
Billions of dollars are on the line in the trial following the explosion of the Macondo well that took 11 lives and damaged the Gulf Coast’s economic and environmental health.
On September 27th, Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Director P.J. Hahn took a trip to survey some of the areas most devastated by the oil spill, including Bay Jimmy and Cat Bay. Oil remains in the marsh, and coastal erosion continues at an accelerated rate.
Coastal erosion, a major environmental challenge even before the spill, became a bigger problem when oil washed onto the barrier islands, killing the roots of marsh grass and mangrove trees that helped to hold the land together.
Since the spill, Hahn has been documenting two barrier islands in Cat Bay that had active bird rookeries. The rookeries had been host to spoon bills, egrets and brown pelicans, the Louisiana state bird that only recently was taken off the endangered species list.