Gulf residents transition to restoration

Pelicans rest on an oil retention boom near Grand Isle, La.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: The British oil giant BP's famous blowout preventer -- you know the one that gained notoriety when it didn't prevent a blowout -- well it's been taken into custody as part of an investigation into the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, officials there are moving from disaster response to coastal restoration.

From the Marketplace Sustainability desk, Eve Troeh reports.


EVE TROEH: More than 300 miles of plastic tubing still bobs in the water off the Louisiana coast. It's boom, meant to keep oil out of delicate wetlands.

Brennan Matherne works for a coastal parish called Lafourche. He says tropical storms blew that boom out of place.

BERNNAN MATHERNE: We did have a few areas where the boom was lodged into the marsh and onto the beach and to some of our barrier islands.

The tubes can crush those areas and -- if slicked with oil -- contaminate them. The transition plan gives Lafourche and other Louisiana parishes the right to leave the boom in place, or remove it. They plan to take it out. That means fisherman employed by BP to fight the spill get a few more weeks of work. Matherne says that's good because locals are hesitant to rely on fishing just yet.

MATHERNE: There are still a lot of fisherman who are a little skeptical, whether the prices will be there for them when the do come in with a catch, and whether anyone will actually want to buy it.

The transition plan includes a promise that BP will continue to employ out-of-work locals for restoration, whether in the water or on the shore.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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