(14 Jun 2010) HEADLINE: Barataria estuary now ground zero in oil spill
NB. THIS IS A VOICEOVER TRANSCRIPT, NOT A FULL SHOTLIST
CAPTION: The biologically diverse Barataria Bay in Louisiana has become the epicenter of the oil spill. Local fisherman are upset and fear that the wildlife and fisheries will be wiped out altogether threatening the livelihood of all who depend on this already endangered estuary. (June 14)
AFTER FIFTY SOME DAYS INTO THE NATION'S WORST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER - THE DISTURBING, DAILY IMAGES OF BIRDS DROWNING IN OIL OR SEALIFE CHOKED IN BROWN SLUDGE MAY SEEM TO BLUR TOGETHER.
BUT IT'S THOSE SINGULAR STORIES OF ISOLATED IMPACT THAT BRING TRUE SCOPE OF THE DISASTER INTO FOCUS
TAKE THE CASE OF BARATARIA BAY - JUST SOUTH OF NEW ORLEANS...A LONGTIME HAVEN FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS, FISH AND VARIOUS LIVING ORGANISMS.
"it all starts in Barataria Bay, if trout spawn, other fish spawn, that's where it all begins. ."
MIKE HELMER IS ONE OF MANY FISHERMEN WHO HAVE MADE A LIVING OFF FISH IN BARATARIA BAY. THIS BIOLOGICALLY DIVERSE ESTUARY IS MILES OF MARSHES, BEACHES AND FISHING GROUNDS...NOW THE OIL IS SLOWLY OOZING IN. SO FAR, ONLY THE OUTER EDGES OF THE BAY HAVE BEEN THE MOST AFFECTED.
"i'm just praying it doesn't advance further and damage any more islands and wildlife than it already has"
BUT BARATARIA HAS A DEEPER STORY THAN JUST THE OIL SPILL. THIS ESTUARY HAS BEEN THE FOCUS OF RESTORATION EFFORTS FOR 20 YEARS.
SINCE THE 1950S THE BAY HAS BEEN LOSING LAND...THREATENING THE WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE BEING POURED IN FROM FEDERAL AND STATE PROJECTS TO HELP RESTORE MARSHLAND AND LAND BRIDGES.
BUT WITH THE ESTIMATE OF OIL SPILLED RISING AND POSSIBLY COMING TOWARDS BARATARIA BAY, NO ONE CAN PREDICT HOW THE OIL WILL AFFECT RESTORATION EFFORTS AND THE LIVELIHOOD OF FISHERIES.
"we fisherman, that's my only source of income. Honestly, I don't want to get into the oil cleanup business if I don't have to"
AND WHAT HAPPENS IN THIS ONE STRETCH OF WATER COULD AFFECT THE FISHING INDUSTRY OVERALL.
"barataria bay is large estuary, one of the richest estauries for producing for fisheris in the entire US."
ECOLOGISTS SAY THAT ITS NOT CLEAR IF THE OIL WILL BE LETHAL TO THE MARSHLANDS AND KILL OFF ALL THAT IS THERE. BUT LOCALS ALREADY SEE THE DOWN SIDE.
"the area we in now is some of the best fishing in the region, hard to stomach, it really is"
FOR NOW, NOBODY KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT THE AFFECTS WILL BE, AS THOSE IN BARATARIA BAY HOLD THEIR BREATH
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