This is the beginning of a wide scale environmental catastrophe. This is a total kill scenario impacting the area in a number of disastrous ways. Prior to the building of the MRGO Canal (and subsequent filling of it due to it’s role in the post Katrina collapse of the levies) the marshland to the south of New Orleans protected the coast from storms, buffering the waves and flooding. If the oil kills off the marsh, there is noting to impede that water during a storm.
Secondarily, the vast majority of the food supply for the marine environment starts right there in those coastal marshes. Many species of fish spawn there, or spend the early part of their lives protected from predators by the shallow water and reeds. Oysters, which start out as near microscopic “spats” swim in these marshes seeking tidal locations to attach themselves and grow, collecting nutrients in the currents.
The death of the marshland starts a cascade in the ocean food chain that reaches all the way up to the top.
Drill, Baby, Spill!… Indeed.