New pictures reveal the damage being done by the oil spill to the region’s wildlife. The brown pelican is Louisiana’s official bird and appears on the state flag. But some have been found on beaches along the coastline coated in oil, barely able to struggle out of the water.
Once listed as an Endangered Species, their future is again in doubt along this stretch of coastline.
Dozens of dead birds have been recovered but scientists say the full story is difficult to evaluate.
The latest pictures were filmed during a boat tour organised by an environmental protection group.
“We toured out to the beginnings of where the spill is starting to hit the shore and it’s basically this storm of oil broken up into thousands, tens of thousands of globs of oil that are starting to hit the wetlands, that are starting to hit the salt marshes and it’s pretty devastating really,” said Michael Brune of the environmental group the Sierra Club.
Projections by scientists show blobs of oil threatening the coastlines of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. There are fears the oil could get carried eastward on currents, reaching Florida today.
Some clean-up workers accuse BP of trying to hide the full extent of the damage. Under pressure from the White House, the company has said it will pay for new sand barriers to be built off the Louisiana coast, increasing the cost of the disaster to BP by several hundred million euros.