Louisiana.gov logo > Explore > Emergency > Home Agencies  | Contacts  
Urgent! emergency.louisiana.gov  
            En Español       


Governor Jindal Takes BP Executive to See Oil Impact Firsthand, Announces BP?s Commitment to Fully Fund Six Segments of State?s Sand-Berm Plan

Grand Isle (June 7, 2010) - Governor Bobby Jindal, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and Grand Isle Mayor David Carmardelle took BP Managing Director Bob Dudley to see firsthand the oil impact on Louisiana's coast. Governor Jindal showed Dudley oil impact at Queen Bess Island and East Grand Terre where the state has built a sand-berm to block oil from the fragile marshland. The Governor stressed the importance of Mr. Dudley seeing the oil firsthand and also emphasized the need for BP to start providing funds so the first six segments of the state's dredging plan can be built immediately. After the tour of the coast and discussions with Governor Jindal, Mr. Dudley, who is in charge of the company's clean up-operations, announced that BP would be fully funding the first six segments of the state,s sand-berm plan.

 We are glad Mr. Dudley came with us today to see the devastation of the oil impact on East Grand Terre and Queen Bess Island. After seeing the destruction of the miles and miles of oil along our coast, we spoke to Mr. Dudley and he agreed to announce today that BP would pay the full estimated $360 million cost of the six segments of our 24-segment sand-berm plan that was approved by the Coast Guard. Mr. Dudley said that he would immediately wire the state $60 million into an escrow account we set up and also commit to paying the rest of the $360 estimated total as the work continues on these segments.

 Of course, even before we got this money today, we were not waiting on BP and the Coast Guard. CPRA is already working closely with Shaw and Bean Dredging to get to work on the six approved segments of our sand-berm plan. Currently, there are two dredges available to work on Pelican Island and the Northern Chandeleurs.

 We have one bucket dredge sailing now to the Pelican Island area. This dredge will begin work as soon as we can get a modified permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. CPRA and Shaw officials are meeting with the Corps today to push this permit modification. We also expect to have a large cutterhead dredge, the CALIFORNIA, released from the Corps and ready to deploy to the Chandeleur Islands this week. Shaw is in negotiations with companies for five additional hopper dredges to mine offshore sand borrow sites and they are doing a nationwide search for additional dredges to get this sand-berm in place as quickly as possible.

 The state has requested that the Corps of Engineers' dredge, WHEELER, deposit all dredge material adjacent to the Barataria islands so that this can be used to build the sand-berms on the W-8, W-9, W-10 and W11 segments that were approved in Plaquemines. We expect to have dredges turning dirt before the end of this week. We have survey vessels, sediment pipelines, personnel, and many other resources moving forward as quickly as possible. Engineering and design work is also underway.

 The state's sand-berm plan was confirmed by both the Corps of Engineers and Admiral Allen to have a positive effect on the environment and will serve as an important action to facilitate the removal of oil before it gets into our coastal wetland and critical fishery nursing grounds.

The state coastal protection agency estimates that the 100 miles of sand-berms in the state's total 24-segment sand-berm proposal will help protect about 4,000 miles of shoreline. According to NOAA, more than 147 miles of Louisiana's coastline has now been impacted by oil. Governor Jindal used these figures to emphasize why its critical to be fighting this oil 15 to 20 miles off of the coast and not in the fragile marshland. Governor Jindal said he will continue to ask the Coast Guard and the federal government to approve the state's entire 24-segment sand boom plan.


Governor Jindal highlighted the Saints Rally to Support Coastal Louisiana scheduled for tomorrow at Fort Jackson in Buras.

Governor Jindal said, We were originally scheduled to host the Saints in Baton Rouge, which was scheduled months ago after they won the Super Bowl, but I talked to Mr. Benson this weekend and I asked him if we could take the team down to Plaquemines Parish instead tomorrow so they can see the impact of this oil spill and also help lift the spirits of the people of coastal Louisiana who are hurting from this ongoing oil spill.

 Tomorrow, we will take Mr. Benson, Rita Benson Leblanc, Coach Payton, Drew Brees and the rest of the Saints football team through the Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center so they can see some of the oiled brown pelicans recovering there. We will also have local fishermen and other businessmen there to talk to the Saints about how this spill is affecting their livelihoods.

 The great thing about our state is that our people are so resilient. We have been through many challenges in past years, but we always make it through by pulling together. That is what tomorrow is about, pulling together, with the Saints, the people of Coastal Louisiana, everyone who knows we can achieve victory in anything even after the many hardships and setbacks along the way.


The Louisiana National Guard is deploying a prototype barge with oil suction capabilities. The Coast Guard approved plans for the National Guard to place oil suction equipment on a military float bridge or barges that can transport vacuum trucks into marsh areas for clean-up operations. The National Guard is deploying the first prototypes of this vacuum barge around East Grand Terre and Queen Bess Island to suction up the standing oil.

Additionally, Grand Isle David Mayor Carmardelle has been working on the development of a plan to close the passes to the east and west of Grand Isle. The state previously placed requests for high-sea boom on these islands, but this boom has not been made available and the passes have allowed for oil to get into Barataria Bay.

Governor Jindal said,  When I met with the President last Friday, I stressed the importance of the Coast Guard approving the use of rocks and barges to block oil from entering Barataria Bay. This proposal has now been approved and will protect Grand Isle, Lafitte, and hundreds of thousands of acres of prime fishing grounds in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes from oil pollution. Mayor Carmardelle s plan will use rocks and barges to narrow the passes and establish active sorbent and vacuum operations from barges to protect the remaining gaps. The barges would be anchored down and then chained together to provide for a contiguous barrier across the passes to prevent more oil from getting into Barataria Bay, and facilitate the removal of oil.


1.   East Grand Terre Dredging: The state is continuing to operate a dredging project at East Grande Terre Island which the state redirected recently to start building a sand-berm to block the oil from fragile marshland.

2.   Protecting Marshes: In Plaquemines, Jefferson, Orleans, Terrebonne and St. Bernard parishes the state is working with parish officials to establish a Marsh Fringe Barrier, a combination of plugs and berms.

3.   Hesco Baskets: The National Guard has deployed two and a half miles of Hesco baskets in Fourchon.

4.   Landbridges: National Guard engineers are maintaining the landbridges at Elmer,s Island and Thunder Bayou,  where they have already filled five gaps in the vicinity of Thunder Bayou in Port Fourchon.

5.   Tiger Dams: National Guard engineers have finished the 7.1 miles of Tiger Dams needed in Southwest Pass. In support of Jefferson Parish and Grand Isle, National Guard engineers have positioned approximately 7 miles of double layer barrier. On Elmer's Island, the National Guard has placed around 2,000 feet of Tiger Dams to protect the low-lying areas, which allow water to wash over into the back bays during high tide.

6.   Sand-Fill Operations: CPRA and the National Guard have identified approximately 40 total locations where gaps in barrier islands can be filled with sand. On Pelican Island, the National Guard has dropped over 3,300 sandbags to date  completing all 8 of the 8 gaps there. They are also working on the 1st gap on Scofield Island and have filled in more than 1,410 sandbags to date.

7.   Freshwater Diversions: The state is currently operating all state freshwater diversions.


DEQ has now confirmed oil impact at: South Pass, Pilot Bayou/Johnson Pass, Pass a Loutre/Redfish Bay, Inner area South Pass, the Chandeleur Islands, Grand Isle/Elmer's Island, Grand Terre Island, Brush Island, Lake Raccourci, Chenier au Tigre, Trinity Island, Fourchon Beach, Timbalier Bay, Shoreline of Lake Felicity, and Marsh Island, Pilot Bay/Johnson Bay, and the Vermillion Bay area.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep



Terms of Use   |   Contacts   |   Privacy and Security Policy   |   Link Policy   |   Accessibility Policy