With oil sloshing ashore along the state's barrier islands and seeping into marshes around the mouth of the Mississippi River, state and parish leaders want to use dredges to close channels between the Gulf and the coastal estuaries.
They said those plans have been held up by the Army Corps of Engineers and the agencies in charge of the spill response, including the Coast Guard and BP, the company responsible for the spill.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry, the federal on-scene coordinator for the response effort, told reporters the barrier island project was still under review. Environmental and wildlife officials "are weighing in on the impact to endangered and threatened species and other impacts this large-scale project could have," she said.
But Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser pointed to pictures of an oil-covered pelican nesting ground and asked reporters, "Is it affected now?"
Mayors and parish presidents were critical of both the government and BP's handling of the cleanup, recounting stories of misdirected protective booms or skimmers that sat on trucks ashore. And a visibly angry [st bernard parish president craig] Taffaro said the delays threatened his parish's ecosystem and the livelihoods of his people.