Oil spill effects seen along coast - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Oil spill effects seen along coast

Posted: Updated:

By Steve Caparotta - bio | email

VENICE, LA (WAFB) - Birds circling over the inlets of Plaquemines Parish are seemingly oblivious to the dangers lurking just offshore. Amazingly, a northern gannet is the only animal that has turned up covered in oil. Its rescue story left some wondering if it wasn't crying out for help from one of the boats involved in the cleanup.

"The bird approached their vessel, hopped up near the boat," said Erica Miller with the Tri-State Bird Rescue. "One of the gentlemen took a fishing gaffe and was able to hook the bird. The story I was told was that he jumped onto the gaffe and they were able to haul him in."

The gannet is now being cared for and fed by Tri-State Bird Rescue. The group has set up shop at Fort Jackson and awaits other injured wildlife. While only one oiled bird has been found so far, officials with the US Fish and Wildlife Service cautioned that thousands more are in danger, including brown pelicans on the Chandeleur Islands.

"If for some reason, there's too much wind, over wash over the booms or around, or if the booms are blown away, to stop their deflection capability, the birds may be oiled," said Tom MacKenzie with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Even with the weather difficulties, BP did have a bit of good news. A test run Friday night using dispersant to break up oil underwater near the leaks was reported to be successful. It's the first time the technique has been used this deep underwater.

"It actually breaks out, breaks apart the oil, attaches itself to the oil and falls to the seabed floor," said Marti Powers, a spokesperson for BP. "We actually have natural seepages through the seabed floor as it is and there are microorganisms that eat that."

Despite nine to 10-foot swells offshore and stiff winds, BP said it has continued to use more dispersant underwater throughout the day.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow