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Oil-tainted Louisiana marshes showing signs of recovery
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Healing Marsh

By Cain Burdeau and Jeffrey Collins

The Associated Press

BARATARIA BAY, La. -- Shoots of marsh grass and bushes of mangrove trees are already starting to grow back in the bay where just months ago photographers shot startling images of dying pelicans coated in oil from the Gulf spill.

More than a dozen scientists interviewed by The Associated Press say the marshes here and across the Louisiana coast are healing themselves, giving them hope that delicate wetlands might weather the worst offshore spill in U.S. history better than they had feared.

Some marshland could be lost, but the amount appears to be small compared with what the coast loses every year through human development.

On Tuesday, a cruise through the Barataria Bay marsh revealed thin shoots growing up out of the oiled mass of grass. Elsewhere, there were still gray, dead mangrove shrubs, likely killed by the oil, but even there green growth was coming up.

"These are areas that were black with oil," said Matt Boasso, a temporary worker with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

As crude from a blown-out BP well oozed toward the marshes after an April oil rig explosion, experts had feared that it would kill roots in marsh grass, smother the mangroves and dissolve wetlands that plant life was holding together.

Cleanup efforts were focused on preventing that from happening by burning and skimming the oil, blocking it with booms and sand berms, and breaking it up with chemical dispersants.

Scientists have reported regrowth of grasses, black mangrove trees and roseau cane, a lush, tall cane found in the brackish waters around the mouth of the Mississippi River.

"The marsh is coming back; sprigs are popping up," said Alexander Kolker, a marsh expert and coastal geologist in Cocodrie, La., with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

He's working with a National Science Foundation team looking at the effect of the BP oil spill on Louisiana's vast but severely stressed marshland -- also known as the Cajun prairie -- where trappers, shrimpers and alligator hunters have made their living for generations. Louisiana, the state worst hit by the oil spill, is home to the vast majority of the northern Gulf's marshland.

Coastal Louisiana is covered in a thick mat of salt marshes that thrive on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

The marshes provide life support for fauna and flora in the Gulf, said Bob Thomas, a zoologist at Loyola University, and up to 90 percent of commercial fisheries depend on them for some stage of fish development.

Even before the spill, south Louisiana had been losing about 25 square miles of marshland a year, a total of about 2,300 square miles since the 1930s, mostly because of levee construction, logging, shipping and oil drilling.

Only about 5,300 square miles of marsh and swamp remain in the state.

Associated Press calculations based on how much coastline government scientists say was affected by the oil spill indicate that at most 3.4 square miles of Louisiana marshland was sullied with oil, an area stretched out over hundreds of miles of coastline. At least some of those areas appear to be rebounding.

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rosco 357

i saw a picture a close up on AOL where it showed new growth of the vegetation where the oil was in the grass, this was not grass but looked like round clover vine type plants in water, but the article was about the new growth, in the i guess u call it marsh land, or whatever, i told yall it will not kill the grass under my fence but for about 2 weeks, lol, they should have called me,, lmao,,


It is a good sign for regrowth, I use diesel to kill out the grass under my hedges and fence line , lasts a little longer than oil and the dogs don't get in it .

rosco 357

i do it to just get rid of it, if i want to kill vegetation back like kudzu and such, i use walmart brand round up, its the same thing as round up and it does the job great, and last a long time, i really need to spray some now..


We took a ride to the coast today, it was good to see crab fishermen loading new crab pots on boats and the shrimpers rigged and going out. A good sign of things returning to normal.


Salt water,with hot sauce,will have the same effect within the basic time frame/to kuill weeds/or even vinegar
and salt,ice salt will do the same thing/without harm to other things.

rosco 357

round up will not hurt but what u spray it on i did it today, if u read whats in it , its some type of salt something i could go get it, i get the walmart brand, its strength is half way between concentrated round up and super concentrated round up if u read the strength of the part that does the work, if u spray round up in a short time u can plow up the soil and plant in it, it only kills what u spray it on, but the dirt is not hurt, i dont even use a weed eater any more, ,, if we make icecream at the lake i pour the salt water with ice on weeds, after we are done, or pee on them lmao..the best thing about round up like i use to spray gas, but it will not kill the roots, round up will kill the roots, also round up is as cheep as gas now, trust me kudzu takes something strong, i mix it stronger for kudzu, but it works,u dont spray round up so it will drip off the leaf, it tells u to just put a mist on the leaf, and it will work just as good u dont over do the spraying just mist the leaf and it drys in a short time..


I like that wal-mart brand it is doing a number on some poison ivy in my yard. The diesel is so good for edging and the circular design under my bushes, there is no hit or miss like spraying , I just pour it where I want it.

rosco 357

well here the county comes down the road with a spray truck and sprays property that has vegetation along the road, not on yards but on places ppl dont cut, they kill the kudzu and weeds, then when dead they send the mowers to cut it , there is a double vacant lot across from me and they killed it back about bush hog wide, after spraying it that deep,then a bush hot cut the dead i think fescue, it was tall, the county has to spray or the bushes and weeds would take over the roads,and also sent out the one with the arm to chew the limbs off the trees that get close to the road, and ofcourse the power company cuts all year long, but mostly in the summer, but they cant get it all trees still blow over, and the power goes out, but its just so many woods here, and some power lines go through them,,

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