VENICE, La. -- As day turns into night, another boat loaded with boom material to stop the encroaching oil sheen are ready to head out.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and Rep. Charlie Melancon came back from seeing the oil off the Plaquemines Parish coastline. They said the booms that are there now are not providing enough protection because of the high winds and waves.
'You've got 10 foot waves out there,' Melancon said. 'Those booms are not gonna be very effective.'
'The water's overtopping it, and some of it's blowing up on the beach, and the one area that we saw will not give me the comfort level that we are holding anything back. And the bulk of it hasn't reached the shore yet,' Nungesser said.
The next plan is to have volunteer fishermen haul out additional linear feet of booms to create a second line of defense.
'These booms get overtopped in the rough water, that oil is coming into the marshes,' Melancon said. 'If you've got a back up quiet water booms that are out there, you might save the marshes of south Louisiana.'
Richard Creed has been a charter boat captain for 10 years. He's weathered Hurricane Katrina and watched this area survive from virtual life support.
'I wish I could be more optimistic, but I don't see how it's going to be anything short of a catastrophe,' Creed said. 'Any people that make money from the Gulf of Mexico right now are stressing out, to say the least. It's not just going to affect the shrimpers. It's going to affect everybody.'
But he'll do what many did after the storm, and what many are doing now: volunteer to help.
'I'm going to try to do something. I can't just sit around and not do anything,' Creed said. 'That's unacceptable for me. I've got to try doing something.'
Coast Guard officials said, weather permitting, they will continue to place the booms along the coastline.
Nungesser said he has signed a state of emergency for Plaquemines Parish, and first thing Friday morning, he'll go out by boat to check the oil's progression.