Flyover shows berms working, more wanted

CHANDELEUR ISLANDS, LA (WAFB) - Gov. Bobby Jindal and two Louisiana parish presidents flew over the Chandeleur Islands Wednesday to see how the new sand berms are working to block the oil.

So far, the six berms in place seem to be making a difference. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser made a plea to BP and the Coast Guard to approve more berms.

"Let's approve the rest of the permits," he said. "Don't make us beg. Don't make us fight. Don't make us go to Washington. Don't wait for the president to come down here to tell you to do it. Do it because it's the right thing. Help us finish the job. Help us save our way of life. Help us protect our wetlands."

One concern related to the berms, which remains on the minds of many along the coast, is whether or not they will last through hurricane season.

"Even if we do get hit with a direct storm, one, that's a positive contribution of sand to these areas and secondly, every drop of oil that hits those sand berms, every tidal surge that gets absorbed by those sand berms is a drop of oil and a tidal surge that is not hitting our wetlands, not hitting our populated areas," Jindal said.

For over a month, officials have been pushing the sand berm plan. It consists of dredging sand from the Gulf floor and building it up to create sand islands to absorb and catch the oil before it makes it to the real islands.

Nungesser said while he is happy about the progress, he wishes it could have come sooner.

"We can't look back; we need to look ahead," he added.

In addition to Nungesser, Jindal was joined on the flyover by St. Bernard Parish President Craig Tafforo.

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