gulf’s recovery may rest with marsh grass - which paper towel is the most absorbent
In the Tampa Bay of Los Angeles. —
In the next scene of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, two of the most important heroes don't look like heroes.
They are just thin green stems that stretch out from the dark grass.
They are common species that sway in the wind in the coastal swamps of South Louis Anna-line grass and line grass.
On top of that, in some places, they no longer wave: oil has flowed into the swamp, their stems are confused, and may be on the way to die slowly.
What happens next?
Are these two kinds of grass rebounding or disappearing?
This will be a very important part of the larger environmental story of the bay.
Now that the wells have been capped, the next question is whether the swamps and marine ecosystems can get rid of the destruction of oil or whether it will leave them with lasting trauma.
"Many of us are more worried about swamps than us, not fish and shrimp," said Dennis Reid, a wetland expert at the University of New Orleans . ".
"If these plants die, they will not come back.
The swamp disappeared.
"The coastal swamps of Louisiana are critical to ecosystems that extend to deep waters, open waters: They shelter young shrimps, crabs, and fish until these creatures are large enough to venture into open waters.
Grass and water are just as important for these places.
Their roots link the land together to support Loose Wet deposits that would otherwise erode.
"Basically, they are swamps," said Andy Neiman of the state university of Luis Anna . ".
"Once they die. . .
It just drifted away.
Humans also rely on grass because swamps are a natural barrier against storms heading to New Orleans.
State wildlife and fisheries minister Robert Baham says there are about 200 square miles of oil coastline in the state of Luis Anna alone.
Most of them are swamps, he says, meaning about 5% of the state's 3,900 square miles of swamps are oily.
Although this figure does not look big, the state of Luis Anna has lost 24 square miles of wetlands each year.
Scientists say the country cannot lose another big chunk at the same time.
The question now is: How much will die?
Humans will play some roles in determining the answer.
During a recent boat ride through the South Marsh of Los Angeles corcorcordelhi.
It can be seen that some workers try to clean the swamp with a long stick and a plastic mop from the grass with dab oil, trying to use this subtle method.
It can be seen that some people are trying another way.
A crew member threw the white water-absorbing agent "boom" in a place where a lot of oil was applied, and then stom took it to absorb the oil.
It is also reported that, driven by the recent storm, prosperity itself has caused damage.
Scientists say that it is difficult to extract all the oil from the oil-coated land, and too aggressive attempts may push the oil deeper into the roots of the plant.
Eugene Turner, another scientist at LSU, said: "It's like going to a doctor, you know: 'Don't hurt, 'is the first rule. '".
He said he even tried to wipe a bunch of grass off paper --towel-
Just as the sheets will backfire because it will spread the oil apart.
If the leaves are hit by oil, it may die from suffocation: crude oil covers the leaves, cutting off the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide on which plants depend for photosynthesis.
If oil is not "weathered" by the sun and bacteria, the grass may absorb toxins through the roots.
Alternatively, oil may sink into the deposits around the roots of the plants, destroy the chemical balance on which the plants depend, or kill the small crabs and worms that the caves allow for oxygen to reach these roots.
Thankfully, this is not grass.
Many oil-coated plants will simply fall off dead stems and plant new ones, scientists say.
If these people are killed by another piece of oil, it will kill others.
It has already happened.
On the most recent day, Alexander Corker of the University of Luiz Anna Ocean federation traveled to the state's baratari Temple to watch the oily grass.
In black, he says, there are some small green dots.