Editor's note: At 8 p.m. ET Gary Tuchman reports on the lasting effects of the BP oil spill disaster.
For much of the country, the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster ended when the well was finally capped on July 15, 2010. Government predictions of the damage from millions of gallons of oil and dispersant were not as dire as many feared, media attention subsided and most people just moved on. But for those whose survival depends on the Gulf, they say they still live with the disaster every day.
“This oil disaster … was like a reoccurring nightmare. It was like a Hurricane Katrina every day. What is tomorrow going to bring? Are they going to be able to stop it? What's our lives going to be like?” said Clint Guidry, President of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. He added, “You still see a lot of that – so many uncertainties and so many question marks on what's going to happen to our fishery?”
That fishery could be in serious trouble from issues related to the oil spill.
The Connection is an ongoing series that highlights individuals who use technology to help solve problems around the world. In Ohio, one man has developed a process to recycle cigarette butts. He is removing unsightly litter from the streets, creating jobs, and turning cigarette butts into useful items, including ashtrays. Find out more about observing America Recycles Day today.
Program Note: See Randi Kaye's full report tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.
Randi Kaye | BIO
The rain in Grand Isle, Louisiana won't quit. But nobody cares about staying dry here today. They care about the oil and where it's moving. I just boarded a boat with Governor Bobby Jindal to go see what Hurricane Alex brought ashore. Our tour should take us over to Grand Terre and Barataria Bay. Those areas were hit really badly by the spill. Oily pelicans and turtles were pulled from there for days. The governor wants to see how much more damage the hurricane may have caused there. He's not sure what to expect. Neither are we.
Our first stop is Pass Abel. One of many that lead into Barataria Bay. The governor shows us where he wanted to put huge rocks to help keep the oil out. He says he asked the President for help with this a month ago and has heard nothing back. Governor Jindal told me if the federal government isn't going to help then they "need to get out of the way".
As we make our way to Barataria Bay we run across an oily sheen on the water about a mile wide. Right nearby dolphins swimming. It's a surreal sight. You only hope they keep a safe distance.
After we passed the dolphins we arrive at Grande Terre Island. The Governor sees just what he feared most. The oil has moved deeper into the barrier island marsh threatening the shrimp and redfish. This is their nursing ground. Over 90 percent of the species in entire gulf area rely on this unique estuary. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls this the most productive estuary in North America. It's a combination of fresh water from Mississippi and salt from the gulf. Easy to see why folks here are fighting to protect it.
All photos courtesy Chuck Hadad/CNN
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement pointed out mangroves that oil had killed after 4 weeks of exposure, saying "they're dead and they ain't coming back."
Anderson Cooper | BIO
Go behind the scenes with Anderson Cooper as he reports from the Gulf oil spill. In this photo gallery, Anderson went to the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Louisiana, a kind of triage center for oiled brown pelicans and other birds. Here is an up close look at what it takes to rehabilitate these animals and return them to the wild.
Jeff Hutchens/Reportage for CNN