Report rates Gulf wildlife and wetlands since oil spill

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WWL-TV) - It's been almost three years since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and many are still concerned about the health of the wildlife and wetlands.

A recent visit to the Bay of Jimmy in Plaquemines Parish showed one of the effects in the form of dramatic coastal erosion.

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation rates how the Gulf ecosystem has fared in the last three years. Brown pelicans and shrimp received good marks. Deep sea coral and bottlenose dolphins are rated fair. However, Atlantic bluefin tuna, sea turtles and coastal wetlands are doing poorly.

Louisiana's coastal master plan lays out several ideas, including one that would allow river sediment to flow back into the marshes and mimic how nature built up the coast.

Since the 1930s, nearly 2,000 square miles have already been lost along the Louisiana coast, but the National Wildlife Federation said oil spill fines should help pay for some of the restoration projects, including diversions.

Officials said their highest priority is the Mid-Barataria Diversion, which would be located just north of Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish.

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