And the heavy sludge arrives

From CBS…

It may be the most disturbing site yet: the first heavy sludge now oozing into the marshes of Louisiana as the slick continues to grow in size out in the gulf.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports it’s an ominous sight. The oil is thick and black and stretches about a quarter mile down a beach. It goes beyond the booms into the sensitive marsh lands which are home to migratory birds.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal flew over it Tuesday.

“This wasn’t just sheen, we were seeing heavy oil out there,” Jindal said. “This wasn’t just tar balls. It shows you how quick the oil showed up.”

When CBS News tried to reach the beach, covered in oil, a boat of BP contractors with two Coast Guard officers on board told us to turn around under threat of arrest. Coast Guard officials said they are looking into the incident.

The impact on wildlife is unclear. Government officials say that 162 sea turtles have died, about half a dozen bottle nose dolphins have died. The sea turtles have not been thoroughly examined yet but federal officials say this seems related to the oil spill. And they admit they have no idea what’s happening in the deeper waters because they can’t watch it.

I guess it is now time for me to weep.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

11 Replies to “And the heavy sludge arrives”

  1. Is there anywhere one can find reliable information on deep sea oil plumes?
    I have been engaged in a number of discussions over at regarding the oil spill in the Gulf.
    I have posted a link to this paper:

    But the real question outside of the physics of deep sea oil dispersion and fractionation is what kind of effect such plumes, assuming they exist, might have on the micro fauna and zooplankton in the water column and furthermore how might such a plume effect the corals of the relatively shallow warm waters of the lower Florida Keys. Any knowledgeable comments or links to information would be much appreciated.

    Last but not least does anyone have any insider information on whether or the government has censored the scientist from Texas AMA and the Pelican research vessel that had claimed to have detected large underwater plumes of oil… TKS!

  2. We all should be weeping. This is an injustice and has been covered up by BP with their telling us how many gallons are spewing on a daily basis! No one seems to know what to do and what has been tried does not work! This is unfortunately a great example of what we should NOT be doing-off shore drilling. I understand there are many places that already have permission to drill, but none is being done. I also understand permits are still being granted to drill in our waters. What part of killing marine life, plant life, and our environment do they not get?

    1. We can’t even evaluate yet the health impacts to people living in coastal communities on the Gulf, but nearly immediately we saw the economic impact to people making a living on the coast and the waters of the Gulf.

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