Louisiana’s wetlands are quiet except for the sound of the occassional bird or spash of a fish or other animal along its marshy banks. The grasses are high, making it difficult to spot prey and, therefore, a good hiding place for the shrimp, crabs and other animals that grow up in the maze of waterways that run through it. And for weeks now PJ Hahn, director of coastal zone management for the local government in Plaquemines parish, has hoped the oil from the leak in the Gulf would float ashore at a sandy beach somewhere far away instead of the state’s vulnerable wetlands. But this week his worst fears came true:
The oil is here now. It’s in the marsh. The side of the marsh with oil is quickly turning brown as it dies, even as the other side is green with life. The oil is toxic. It’s killling the marshes instantly. It’s so delicate. It’s so fragile.