BPness: Louisiana's Beleaguered Coast

A snapshot of life since the spill

BPness: Louisiana's Beleaguered Coast
Photos by Kate X Messer

Grand Isle, La., for years buoyed by the commercial fishing and oil industries, finds itself between a fish and a slick place. How do the members of small coastal communities like this one feel now that their lives are stuck in the muck? It's very clear how Larose, La., tattoo artist Bobby Pitre feels. His traffic-stopping "God Help Us All" mural outside the Southern Sting Tattoo Parlor on Louisiana Highway 1 expresses the outrage, toward both the U.S. government and the BP corporation, that has gripped this region and unsettled the nation. Hand-scrawled signs bearing similar sentiment dot the small winding highway that meanders through Lafourche Parish down to the coast. On Grand Isle proper, an island's length of boom and a 3-foot-high sand berm demark the forbidden zone – authorities may detain and decontaminate anyone who crosses into this cleanup sector, according to security guards on watch on BP's orders all along the coastline. Each day until dinnertime, dozens of teams of dozens of workers clean the zone between the berm and the shore. Each morning, a new deadly tide of oil and destruction awaits. (See austinchronicle.com/chronolog for further coverage.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

oil spill, BP, Bobby Pitre

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