Oily residues, thick tar mats and tar balls have been documented in still and video images at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, about seventy miles east of New Orleans. Resident Charles Taylor took cameras to the local beach right after Tropical Storm Lee ended. He documented the material in the first week of September. In the video below, you can see what appears to be significant amounts of oil on the beach.
A land manager said, “We have never been out of response mode. We’ve been out there without a pause, only slowed down a bit during nesting season this spring. We have never stopped seeing oil and they have never cleaned it up.” (Source: NOLA.com)
She made her remarks due to the discovery of tar mats at Fourchon Beach, near New Orleans after the same tropical storm. Even beaches in Alabama and Florida reported extra oily material. An Alabama marine resources official said, “Throughout the city it is pretty sporadic and they are typically very small but in a couple of areas we’re definitely seeing increased amounts of tar, larger tar balls to the size of cookies.” (Source: wkrg.com)
A number of universities are collaborating to investigate impacts of the huge oil spill, and how the Gulf has fared since then. Another researcher, this one from Virginia, will study the impact of oil on the bottom-dwelling creatures. He said, “A big concern is that bottom-dwelling organisms may be ingesting the oil in the sediments and passing it up the food chain to shrimp and fishes. Hopefully we’ll be able to see if the organisms are avoiding the oiled sediment layers.” (Source: Miamiherald.com)
Image Credit: Charles Taylor