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I hitched a ride out of the Mississippi River Delta town of Venice, LA yesterday with a local fishing boat captain concerned about the BP Oil Spill's impact on wildlife.
We found a ribbon of oil turned a rusty red by the oxidizing iron it contains. While the oil ribbon wasn't much more than 10 yards wide, we came upon it straight south of the mouth of the Mississippi River -- a full 62 miles west of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster site. The oil hung well below the surface as chemical "dispersants" worked to sink it.
Our captain spotted a young sea turtle struggling to climb aboard a piece of oily driftwood, not far from where National Wildlife Federation staffers had spotted a sea turtle in oil the day before. The little turtle was coated with the rusty red oil, appearing exhausted from its desperate effort to lift itself out of the oil: