Former Kodiak Resident Readies for Gulf Spill


Jay Barrett/KMXT

A former Kodiak resident is now living just south of New Orleans, a few miles from the tip of Louisiana, not far from the beaches and estuaries that are being threatened by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The blow-out continues to spew hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil a day into waters off of Louisiana.

Chuck Morris, who worked as a counselor in Kodiak for several years now lives with his family in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. He said the tension of knowing the oil slick is just off shore is difficult.

(Gulf Spill 1 26 sec "That’s probably the hardest … pretty fragile stuff.")

He said the marsh lands are vital to the state and its residents, for many reasons.

(Gulf Spill 2 23 sec "Of course it’s related … that’d be awful.")

He said hurricane season starts in two weeks, on June 1st, but storms usually come later in the summer. Venice, Louisiana, at the southern tip of the state, is one of the largest fishing ports in the nation:

(Gulf Spill 3 17 sec "The statistics I’ve seen … most valuable is the shrimp.")

Morris praised the Coast Guard for its rescue of the survivors of the Deep Water Horizon platform’s explosion and collapse, and said there’s a lot of National Guard presence since the blow-out occurred, but he’s also seen a lot of locals taking responsibility for trying to protect the shoreline themselves:

(Gulf Spill 4 41 sec "The most hopeful thing is … as far as booming goes.")

Morris said not knowing how much oil will have to be dealt with is another factor causing concern for residents, not just of Louisiana, but the entire Gulf of Mexico coast. The blow-out has yet to be capped, and is releasing at least 200,000 gallons of oil per day, with some estimates many times higher. It is expected to be larger than the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill which dumped 11-million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound, which eventually found its way to Kodiak and beyond, devastating fisheries wherever it went.


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