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Gulf oil spill: Slick, tar hit Louisiana wildlife refuge, witnesses say

BPBreton National Wildlife RefugeChandeleur Islandgulf of mexicooil spill


Mark Stebly, who said he holds the only lease for a fishing camp on the Chandeleur Islands, said within the last few days he has found balls of tar on the beaches of the uninhabited crescent-shaped Chandeleur island chain, which was hammered and shrunk by Hurricane Katrina, and had just begun to recover.

The tar balls were ranged from the size of a finger to the size of a hand, he said, adding that the air smelled of petroleum. “You could smell it strong,” he said.

Lyle Panepinto, a seaplane pilot out of Belle Chasse, La., returned from a trip by air from Panama City, Fla., at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, and said he saw the largest concentration of oil beginning to lap at the Chandeleur Islands, home to the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s second-oldest wildlife refuge.

”It’s orange-y colored. It’s mostly on the surf side,” he said.

Panepinto said he was about halfway down the main island, Chandeleur, when he saw the band of oil lapping about 50 yards off shore. It was thin band of oil with the appearance of axle grease, stretching northward several miles around the tip of the isle in a band about 10 feet wide, he said.

Panepinto, who works for Southern Sea Plane Inc., said a little oil seems to have made its way to the inside of the island, off the coast. There, he saw cloudy water, and a little sheen. “That island is the most pristine island in the gulf,” he said.

The National Wildlife Foundation also reported spotting an oil-covered turtle struggling in the slick. It did not specify where the animal was located but said it alerted authorities to its location.

Stebly said the Chandeleur Islands have the "best fishing in the Southeast.”

“I’ve never seen any pollution of any kind out there. The islands are absolutely pristine. Barren, beautiful beaches.”

He said he worried that because the slick was moving so slowly, the nation would lose interest. “This is like a bomb slowly going off,” he said. “I can’t bear to watch it on television. It brings me to tears.”

-- Jill Leovy

Photo: Pelicans in Breton National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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I think grease trap technology should be put to work here. If any of you readers have worked in a restaurant, then you've probably encountered a grease trap for filtering oils from water beneath the kitchen sink. Larger facilities require a much larger device, supporting upwards of 600 gallons of grease. How hard would it be to attach a water pump to one of these large grease-trap and attach it to a 1000 or so working boats with strong enough engines to run the pump for several hours at a few hundred gallons a minute? Any thoughts on how we could put this idea to work?

The tarballs that CNN and YOUTUBE don't want you to see!

This is a tragedy, and a Complete Reminder for us to quite trashing our planet! The animals of Sea and Land, and those people who live in the whole gulf area, are the victims of this Sloppy company, and the stupid politicians who are constantly engineering life as we know it on the planet! When will you voters wake up to what's going on!!!

I thought of a possible solution for the oily slime. How about freezing (lowering the temperature) on the slick trails, then scooping up chunks of oily ice. Similar to cooking soup stock, and refrigerating it. When it's out of refrigeration, there is a layer of fatty ice on top. That layer of fat, gets scooped out.

Oil eating bacteria? I recommend they send the oil creating viruses at BP down there and let them eat it.

Are they considering the use of Oil-eating bacteria at all to help control it?
Maybe they could periodically infuse the leaking oil right at the source with oil eating bacteria. Maybe then the oil slick would be disappearing by the time it starts to reach the coastlines.



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