Oil Reaches La. Coast - Officials

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

In an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal, officials with the Deepwater Horizon Response coalition confirmed that a thin sheen of crude oil has reached Louisiana's Chandeleur Islands.

The Wall Street Journal article quotes a Coast Guard spokesman as likening the slick to "'the sheen you see when fresh rain hits the street.'" Heavier, thicker emulsified crude reportedly was still several miles off the coast. The thin sheen's arrival marked the unified command's first confirmed sighting of crude oil from the disaster reaching the U.S. coast, according to the article.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is making regular forecasts predicting the path of the spill. According to a NOAA, thin sheens are similar in composition to the original oil and are virtually impossible to collect. Unlike heavier oil slicks, thin sheens weather quickly once they reach the shore.

Located in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi River Delta, the Chandeleur Islands comprise a chain of barrier islands. The 2005 hurricane season greatly accelerated the erosion of the Chandeleurs, which are part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

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Crewmen guide a cofferdam onto the deck In Situ Burn Training Diagram of Deepwater Horizon Resting Pla Deepwater Horizon Sinking (Apr 22)
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