MORE: “New swaths of what could be fresh surface oil have popped up on the other side of the Mississippi River”


New sightings of apparent oil near Chandeleur islands reported from flyover, The Times-Picayune, March 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm EDT:

Even as officials tried to determine the source of weathered oil near Grand Isle, whole new swaths of what could be fresh surface oil have popped up on the other side of the Mississippi River, in the open water between the delicate coastal bayous and the sandy crescent-shaped Chandeleur barrier islands.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Leeman said the Coast Guard had received no reports of oil-like material east of the river...

[The flight's mechanical engineer Don Abrams said] "It's too early in the season for this to be an algal bloom. It's just not the color of the algae I've seen. I try to approach this very rationally and as a serious skeptic, so I'm not willing to say 100 percent conclusively it's oil. But I've been out to the islands during the BP spill and stepped in it and it looks very much like oil to me."

[Founder of the California environmental nonprofit group On Wings of Care Inc, Bonny] Schumaker's log of the trip Tuesday described the sheen as larger than the day before and darker in color than the weathered oil to the west of the river, suggesting it may be fresher. Abrams said it appeared to be very close to the surface.

See the report and a photo here.

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