Some 15 national parks, wildlife refuges and state parks in Gulf states are directly threatened by the ongoing BP oil blowout, according to the NRDC report.Î¾ That includes Padre Island National Seashore and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.Î¾ The spill threatens the livelihoods of fishermen, restaurant workers, charter boat captains and the region's tourism industry.Î¾ Captain Louis Skrmetta is a ferry pilot for the National Park Service in Gulfport, Mississippi.
"We've been able to survive several hurricanes over the years.Î¾ But in this case, I don't know if we're going to be able to survive.Î¾ The oil is slowing approximately 50 miles from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.Î¾ But you probably are aware that the Chandelier Islands, which lie only ten miles south of Gulf Islands National Seashore in Louisiana waters, are now contaminate.Î¾ And so it's just a matter of time before the oil moves into our area."
Skrmetta says Mississippi's white sand islands have experienced more than a hundred major hurricanes and each time the eco-system has endured, but the oil spill could transform that area into a "dead zone."
"This oil is moving our way, and we need federal intervention, and we cannot trust British Petroleum.Î¾ You've probably seen the national media in Louisiana that these folks are very, very concerned.Î¾ The anxiety level here is incredible.Î¾ The Gulf Coast region is dominated by elected and appointed public officials that are aligned with Bif Oil.Î¾ Mississippi's two senators are currently fighting legislation to increase the $75 million cap for clean-up and recovery to $10 billion."
Dramatic rate cuts are luring visitors to Gulf Coast resorts, but officials say that could change if the oil actually washes ashore on more popular beaches.