Day three brought us deep into the Bayou. I had always been told that most of the Louisiana coast is below sea level and constantly at risk of just going underwater, but I only really understood after our drive all the way to the southern tip of Louisiana. We spent all day in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon. There we spent our last day of field work admiring the creative names people painted on their houses and running away from freak thunderstorms.
On Grand Isle we started in the national park but quickly relocated south to a public beach with more fruitful results. There we spent a few hours scrambling around jetties scraping oil off blisteringly hot rocks. After trekking a few miles farther the weather took a turn for the worse. We had filled our last sample jar and the timing could have not been more perfect. Just as we got back to the car the skies opened up and we found ourselves in a rather serious lightening storm. After a lunch of Po Boys and Voodoo potato chips we headed to Elmer’s Island.
Elmer’s Island was an interesting place. It was an area hit pretty hard by the spill and the entire beach had an air of neglect. We found a lot of oil patties and talked with a few locals about their own experiences. As the sun was going down we made our way back north and stopped at Voodoo BBQ for a dinner of pulled pork, brisket, collard greens, and corn pudding. Tomorrow we will be taking stock of our mountain of samples, shipping them back to Haverford (TSA apparently does not like people shipping oil patties cross country), and catching a plane back to PA!