Barrier islands wash away as oil kills off mangrove patches
On a bright spring morning, P.J. Hahn was walking through a graveyard in the middle of Barataria Bay.
It was a 30-yard patch of mud and sand bristling with bare, dead mangrove brush surrounded by miles of open water. Each mangrove was a tombstone marking the death of a nesting site used for decades by brown pelicans and roseate spoonbills on what was once the string of wetland pearls that made up the Cat Islands chain.
But in 2010 the oil spewing from BP’s Deepwater Horizon well would send them all to an early grave.
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