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Tar balls continue to wash ashore

Booms are in place around Lake Pontchartrain
Booms are in place around Lake Pontchartrain

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

July 8, 2010 — The Louisiana fishing community fears devastation after tar balls from the BP oil spill are found in Lake Pontchartrain.

Fishing communities fear the worst
Fishing communities fear the worst

Workers and volunteers were busy on Wednesday, cleaning up tar balls that had washed into Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain.

The lake borders New Orleans, and the arrival of the tar balls has sent a wave of anxiety through the fishing community.

Stormy weather is responsible for carrying the oil into the region. Now, there are concerns that persistent winds could cause more problems.

≴From an emotional standpoint it's really tough,” says Kevin Davis, president of the St. Tammany parish. “It's tough on all our residents throughout this whole region. This in our mind was the last frontier. We were hoping and praying that we wouldn't get any oil.”

Tar balls continue to wash onto the Gulf shores
Tar balls continue to wash onto the Gulf shores

The lake area was devastated after Hurricane Katrina came ashore in 2005. Several hundred miles of coastline and wetlands were lost.

Fishing, crabbing and shrimping are primary sources of income for people in the area, and many are fearing that the oil means progress made since Hurricane Katrina is lost.

BP's local staging area has more than 250 clean-up workers. 39 barges have been deployed to grab tar balls off the water, and more than 150 thousand feet of boom was placed to prevent more oil from entering the lake.

BP's Deepwater Horizon has been spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico since it exploded and sank in April. BP has committed 20 billion dollars to the clean-up and other costs stemming from the spill.

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