The Louisiana Democrat lost his composure Thursday during a Capitol Hill hearing about the Gulf oil spill.
"Our culture is threatened. Our coastal economy is threatened. And everything that I know and love is at risk," Melancon, who represents many of the affected Louisiana shoreline areas, told his Capitol Hill colleagues.
Unable to finish reading his prepared statement, Melancon, who was born and raised in the area threatened by the spill, submitted his statement for the congressional record and then walked out of the hearing room as other lawmakers sought to comfort him.
Melancon is scheduled to join President Obama on Friday for a briefing led by U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen on the efforts to stop the BP leak and prevent the oil from reaching Louisiana's coastal marshes.
The certified wildlife biologist and senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation says that the impact of oil spills can last a long time. Inkley has spent the past week surveying the Gulf area, specifically in Louisiana at the Mississippi River Delta.
He told USA Today, "The complete toll on fish and wildlife will never be fully known. I discovered a bottom-dwelling eel floating dead on the surface of the oil slick, but who knows how many more will die and never surface."
On the federation's website, Inkley wrote about another disaster on the minds of many people today.
"More than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, oil can still be found on the beaches of Prince William Sound. Many species have still not completely recovered. Herring, an important link in the food chain and previously supporting a commercial fishing industry in the area, have shown little recovery. Wildlife still not recovered to pre-oil spill populations include goldeneyes, black oystercatchers, harlequin ducks, killer whales, sea otters, clams and mussels."
The father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, a soldier from Maryland who died in combat in Iraq in 2006 at age 20, wants the nation's courts to establish the right of military families to a peaceful private funeral.
According to its website, the Snyder family filed a civil lawsuit against the Rev. Fred Phelps and some members of his Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, "to bring an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflicted upon their family and ... approximately 50 other grieving families of U.S. service members killed in defense of our nation."
Matthew Snyder's funeral was marred by vocal protests from the Westboro Baptist Church, which stages anti-gay picketing at funerals and public events - demonstrations protected by the First Amendment.
Al Snyder is scheduled to appear with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, for a Friday news conference in Washington on the rights of military families.
Police are hunting for the American woman who may have married as many as 11 servicemen and then allegedly took their money.
London's Daily Mail newspaper reports that for some 20 years, Finley has been finding lonely men at U.S. military bases and claiming that her father, supposedly a Marine Corps general, owes her a substantial inheritance - which she can claim only if she is married. Once they wed and the groom leaves for deployment, Finley allegedly begins to spend through his bank account, the paper reports.
According to the newspaper, there are warrants for Finley's arrest in Washington, Nebraska and Texas, and the U.S. Army has hired a special investigator to locate her.
One serviceman, Shane Cheeseman, told reporters he met Finley while at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1998.
He said, "I got married on a Monday, and that following weekend she was gone."
The author and investigative reporter from Oakland, California, proved that science writers can be as funny as comedians.
At a Book Expo America panel in New York on Thursday moderated by "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, Roach stole the show from not only Stewart but also from fellow authors John Grisham and Condoleezza Rice.
She made quips about her comparative anonymity ("BEA Authors Panel featuring Stewart, Rice, Grisham and more"); dandruff in space ("a virtual snow globe"); the science behind intergalactic bowel movements ("no drop, no plop"); and sex in space ("It is easier to get a man on the moon than it is to get the NASA press office to respond to an e-mail titled Zero-Gravity Intercourse").
Roach is the author of the upcoming book "Packing for Mars," which comes out in August. Her previous best-sellers are "Bonk," about the scientific study of human-sex practices, and "Stiff," about the use of cadavers in research.