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From the Front Lines of the Louisiana Oil Spill

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May 4th, 3:00 PM I spent the morning on a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries boat with St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro and officials with La. Wildlife and Fisheries and the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's office. We launched from Breton Sound and headed out to Biloxi Marsh about 20 miles out to check on the boom-lying operations of local fishermen and take a look at some of the areas where protective boom has been laid. Latest word is that the changing wind has held off the oil slick from moving ashore here in Louisiana, but we're by no means out of the woods yet. The oil continues to leak from three points at a rate of several hundred thousand gallons per day, and BP is only beginning to finish the first containment structure for one of the three leaks.

I'm encouraged that the local fishermen have finally been engaged in the oil spill response by BP and the federal government, because they know this coast the better than anyone. The fishermen are laying boom at a rate that's three or four times faster than the contractors BP was using.

At Shell Beach where when we landed, our incredible Louisiana National Guard troops were hard at work loading boom onto fishing trawlers. When we landed we met up with Gov. Bobby Jindal and Louisiana National Guard Major General Bennett Landreneau, and we talked about what we saw out on the water and the plans we're putting in place to protect the coast.

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Local fishermen loading boom onto their boats.

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Boom on a fishing boat headed out to sea.

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Fishermen laying boom to protect nearby marshes.