Obama spends time getting firsthand look at environmental damage

By David Spunt - bio | email

GRAND ISLE, LA (WAFB) - President Obama spent just under five hours in Louisiana on Friday getting a firsthand look at the environmental damage caused by the oil spill.

He began his visit by taking a tour of Fourchon Beach where Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen joined him. On the beach the president did not see heavy signs of oil, but we did.

During his statement, the president admitted there have been problems with the cleanup. For weeks, Governor Bobby Jindal criticized the national response saying time is running out.

Jindal met with the President for 90 minutes Friday mostly pushing his plan to create more barrier islands to block the oil. "It was a good talk, but action is more important than words," said Jindal. The state proposed the idea weeks ago, but is still waiting for approval. "We know it works...we have the evidence," Jindal said.

There is evidence that the current defenses are not working. We took to the water before the President's arrival with Louisiana Sportsman Magazine Publisher Ann Taylor. On our trip we saw a boat dripping with oil. It was back fresh from a booming operation to corral the oil. "The President needs to man up and just trust Governor Jindal and let us do what we need to do," said Taylor.

While the majority of the focus tends to be on the water or the main beaches, crews have the difficult task of checking for damage on the unnamed islands and on Louisiana's wildlife.

"There's so much fish and wildlife supported by the marsh. I just hope they can do everything possible to keep the oil from these areas," Taylor added.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.