chapter  1
Weaving the Arcadian Tapestry
Pages 46

On July 29, 2010, a barge struck a wellhead in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay, releasing oil and natural gas into the heart of the local shrimp industry and home to muskrats, brown pelicans, and other wildlife threatened by the invasive substances. This incident added more extensive injury to the Deepwater Horizon petroleum disaster, the largest marine oil spill in history, which began with the explosion of the drilling rig at Macondo Prospect on April 20, 2010. The well was capped on July 15 and nally pronounced dead on September 19, after disrupting, and in some cases, destroying the lives of millions of residents of the Gulf Coast region. The most riveting images of the tragedy remain those of the helpless animals coated in oil-the sh, turtles, and above all, the birds, of at rst Louisiana’s, and then of the Gulf Coast’s, protected but ecologically fragile wetlands.1