The worst fears regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are coming true. Oil slick from one of the worst environmental disaster that could eclipse even the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska has made way into the flimsy Louisiana marshlands.
The U.S. government's top weather forecasters apprehend that some oil has also entered a dominant current that has the potency to carry it to Florida, Cuba and even up the U.S. East Coast.
More to come
The spill is ominous to the entire ecological and economic balance along the U.S. Gulf Coast and may be even further.
"The day we have all been fearing is upon us today," said an apprehensive Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.
After visiting the southernmost point of the Mississippi River estuary on a boat tour, he said, “This wasn't tar balls. This wasn't sheen. This is heavy oil in our wetlands. It's already here but we know more is coming."
The marshlands along the Louisiana coast serve as nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish. In fact, Louisiana is the chief producer of commercial seafood in the continental U.S. The marshes are also a favorite destination for amateur and spare time anglers. All that is in jeopardy now!
The adverse repercussions
A large no-fishing zone has already been imposed on close to 19 percent of the U.S. waters in the Gulf, which have been affected by the spill.
Tests of the air and water in the region, conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, suggest that there is little toxicity, at least as of now.
The marshlands along the Louisiana coast serve as nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish. In fact, Louisiana is the chief producer of commercial seafood in the continental U.S. The marshes are also a favorite destination for amateur and spare time anglers. All that is in jeopardy now
However, experts warn of the adverse consequences given the fact that oil has shown up on the shoreline, "It would burn your skin, particularly your inner arms, which are tender," said Wilma Subra, a chemist and environmental consultant.
The spill is affecting business big time. Not only the sea food has become more expensive, it has few takers.
"Customers don't even want to come out. Because of all the publicity, they think everything is full of oil," said Sandy Theriot, a worker in a Gulf Coast seafood market.
BPs task is onerous
Meanwhile BP, owner of the well, has left no stone unturned to stop the gushing oil which is estimated to be making way into the sea at the rate of 25, 000 barrels a day.
The company intends to inject mud into the well this Sunday to permanently plug the leak. However, the task of clean up is Herculean and is likely to cost BP a colossal amount.
“This is oil that is going to be very, very difficult for them to clean up," avers Jindal.