The Gulf Between Us, Orion magazine, November/December 2010 issue:
GRAND ISLE, LOUISIANA
I stop to pick up a few broken shells and continue walking... A vehicle with a red flashing light interrupts the stillness and I hear someone yelling. A man dressed in black, head to foot, gets out of the truck and motions me toward him.
“Is there a problem?” I ask. “Yes, ma’am. You are contaminated.” I begin to walk past the fence. “Step back, ma’am. You are now contaminated, I cannot allow you to step out from the fence.” ...
We are marched in military fashion half a mile down the “contaminated beach,” ... Up ahead, we see two men dressed in full-body, white Tyvek coveralls with gloves and boots secured with duct tape. They are stoically standing near two kiddie pools filled with a clear, bubbling liquid. ...
I am next, and as I step into the water, my feet begin to burn, especially the cut on my ankle from Comfort Island.
“Is this about dispersants?”
Bill is standing on the edge of the tarp, quietly filming the whole thing. When it’s his turn, they ask him to also put the legs of his tripod in the liquid.
Read the report here.