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Governor Jindal & St. Bernard Parish Officials Fly Over Chandeleur Islands and Stress Fight to Protect Coast

HOPEDALE (May 7, 2010) - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro and St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens for a flyover of the Chandeleur Islands in St. Bernard Parish and they spoke about the importance of the parish’s continued fight to protect the coast of St. Bernard from the impact of the oil spill.  During their flyover today, the Governor and parish officials saw evidence of oil along the coast of the Chandeleur Islands and also saw streaks of oil and orange-colored clumps of oil in the water around the islands.

The Governor and President Taffaro joined a group of around 30 fishermen at a press conference following the flyover to emphasize the need for additional boom in St. Bernard Parish and the work with BP and the Coast Guard to get commercial fishermen employed in the plans to protect the coast and also the assistance they need to get back on their feet.

Governor Jindal said, “It is very important that we not only identify more boom to protect this area but work with the Coast Guard and BP to make the supply chain of resources more predictable so Parish President Craig Taffaro – and our other coastal leaders on the ground – can plan for how many fishermen and volunteers they need each day to protect our coast.

“In fact, we have asked the National Guard to help coordinate this effort on our end so we can work closely with the Coast Guard and BP as they learn of new shipments and allocate supplies. Federal officials said this morning they are also aware of supply line challenges and they are working to improve supply lines of resources to protect these vital coastal areas.

“This morning our National Guard was on their way to pick up 13 trailers of 42-inch hard boom, at the request of the Coast Guard. This 42-inch boom is high-seas boom that is very important in our efforts to protect some of the most vulnerable water entry points along our coast. We expect their 13 trailers of boom to be about four miles worth of this high-sea boom. This boom will be dispatched out to critical areas along our coast, and we are working with the Coast Guard and BP today to determine the specific best locations.

“The National Guard sent 35 Guardsmen to Grand Isle today to help locals deploy resources in their work to protect the parish by blocking off minor cuts in the waterways to stop the oil from impacting the coast. Grand Isle is also an example of an area where we are looking at deploying different techniques – such as boudin bags, tiger dams and hesco baskets – to supplement the boom and contain the oil.”

DEQ scientists reported shoreline impact of oil in the Chandeleur Islands yesterday during surveillance trips by boat and plane. Their surveillance yesterday specifically reported impact on Curlew Island, Cat Island and Freemason Island. The Governor and parish officials today saw black marks around the shores of the island chain that resembled a “ring around a bathtub,” marking where the oil likely made impact with the shore yesterday due to tides, wave movement and other conditions.

BP and the Coast Guard have reportedly dispatched a “jack up” barge with cleanup/recovery supplies; a “Fast Response Vessel,” and 25 vessels and cleanup crews to cleanup Chandeleur Islands. US Fish and Wildlife Services is also reportedly going to help impacted wildlife there.



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