Day Three – Lynn Miller’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog

Get up time 2:30 am. Out of the hotel at 3 am to get to the boat. Still hot and humid even at this time of the day.

Today was spent out on the water looking at the problem from the water level into both the marshes and wetland areas, and the again, the enormity of the issue. In every direction there are oil rigs, and boats servicing these structures. In the distance you could see the oil tankers lined up and docking at the offshore centers. Under the water, by watching the sonar, you could see all of the pipeline structures in place as well for moving oil from the wellhead to the processing and shipping sites. We saw one patch of water that may have had suspended oil droplets in it, but up until that evening we had not seen any oil. That changed when we made a visit, after docking, to Grand Isle. This beach had been heavily oiled and was in the process of being cleaned. There is no smell associated with this oil as it has weathered and all the “light ends” have been lost. So essentially it is a tarry substance either coating areas on the beach or in tar balls.

Today I saw up close the marshland and birds. Birds everywhere; snowy egrets, laughing gulls, shore birds, cattle egrets, red-winged blackbirds, boat tailed grackles, frigate birds, pelicans, terns, great blue herons, … it was fantastic with a number of firsts for me.

Bed time: 2 am!!!