Oil Found Seeping into Lake Pontchartrain
Experts say that the newly discovered oil in Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans is not likely to cause much environmental damage.
But the presence of tar balls and oil sheen so close to the Big Easy is a psychological blow.
"This proves that the oil can come in," said John Lopez, director of coastal sustainability for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. "It's kind of, on an emotional level, disconcerting to see this happen."
Though weather is inhibiting efforts to block the oil and officials closed parts of the lake to fishing, the amount of seepage thus far appears minimal—tests on seafood so far have come back negative and some 1,700 pounds of sludge have been collected. But try telling that to Louisianans who care deeply about their lake: "You won't hear songs about a lot of the marshes in south Louisiana, but you will hear songs about Lake Pontchartrain," says a biologist.