NWF Trip Finds Louisiana Marsh “Eerily Quiet”

A Louisiana fishing boat captain led National Wildlife Federation Naturalist David Mizejewski & several reporters to an oil-stained marsh yesterday. A Reuters reporter reveals what they found:

In marshy areas, vegetation is blackened from oil, and looks burnt just above the water level even though booms have been laid to keep the crude out. On a late afternoon tour of the region hosted by the National Wildlife Federation, there were no birds in one swamp area. It was eerily quiet.

The booms also surrounded small islands in Barataria Bay, ones that teemed with brown pelicans, spoonbills and egrets. Many showed obvious signs of oil contamination.

“This is a perfect example of how we are part of the ecosystem,” NWF naturalist David Mizejewski said, looking at Gagliano, who has fished here since he was a child.

”The oil’s impacting (the birds’) ability to get their food. It’s the same thing for you. The fish are just as important to you as they are to those pelicans. I don’t think you could get a clearer example of how important healthy ecosystems are to our economy, to peoples’ livelihoods.”

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For all the latest news on how the oil spill is impacting the Gulf Coast’s wildlife & to learn how you can help, visit NWF.org/OilSpill.