Wildlife in Peril as Slick Nears Gulf Coast

Publication: Wall Street Journal

Author: Robert Lee Hotz and Ángel González

04/30/2010 - As a giant oil slick neared landfall late Thursday, field crews raced to barricade the Gulf coast's fragile wetlands and beaches, where thousands of wildfowl are nesting at the height of their breeding season and millions of migrating birds pause in their annual spring journey north.

The oil "is already in state waters" and will reach the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area, near the southernmost tip of the state, "later tonight," Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser said Thursday, after a meeting with council members and a congressman to discuss the emergency.


Wildlife experts said Thursday the spill already was washing a toxic skim of chemicals across the home waters of endangered marine life and valuable fisheries, including one of only two breeding grounds world-wide for Atlantic bluefin tuna, which were spawning this time of year. Usually, the tuna breed in areas south and west of the spill, but shifting currents may move the eggs into the slick, said Chris Mann, a senior officer in the marine program of the Pew Environment Group.

Read the full article Gulf of Mexico Leak May Slow Arctic 'Cold Rush' on the Wall Street Journal's Web site.

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