May 13th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Making a mountain to stop the oil

See this island? It wasn't here yesterday.

The Louisiana National Guard poured in tons of sand and rock to fill a 700 foot gap in a barrier island to stop the oil from reaching the estuaries.

The gap was the result of hurricane damage in Elmer's Island, just across the bridge from Grand Isle.

Filled in, the island will now be a part of the last line of defense in Louisiana's scramble to protect it's ecologically sensitive coast. The area is also an important breeding ground for shrimp.

"It's ecologically and economically very important to the local community," Lt. Kyle Galloway told CNN.

soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Al Kahaulik

    I'm starting to think that Dr. Doofenschmirtz might have a hand in this oil leak.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. inspiral

    Tom. Look at my post @174 and comment back.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Wizzard

    One other thought before departing... All of these ideas to "plug" the well head simply won't work. The leak is in a pipe sticking out of the well head and laying on the ground. The well head? It has a 400 ton blow out preventer cemented in place on top of it. You would have to move that before plugging the hole. And by the way, when you move that, the flow goes to about 50,000 barrels a day – the BOP that is currently in place is partially working which is why only 5,000 barrels a day are escaping. And before considering it, if you "blow it up" you would more than likely cause an unsealable breach in the surface of the ocean.

    If there was an easy answer, regardless of cost, it would have been done by now.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    @#162 gerante
    "#130, THANK YOU!!! "This thing needs to leak for another two or three months before it even obtains a spot in the top 10 worst oil spills in history.""

    Well screw it then. I don't see a problem! Never mind! Everybody go home. This isn't in the top 10, nothing to see here.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    "Prices for fuel and food will be out of reach for the poor to obtain."

    Too late to stop that, prophet. Too late.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tess B

    i just dont understand why these people built this rig in the ocean and never formed any plan for worst case scenarios such as this. why are most of the rich ppl stupid and unorganized obviously. my theory is they will jack up gas prices to make up for their loss with all the oil spilt and as americans we shouldnt be penalized for another companies mistake.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rex

    There is a proven method to clean the oil slick. It is called Bioremediation. With this method, selected SAFE, Non-Pathogenic bacteria are sprayed on the slick and eat it.

    Now dispersents are being used exclusively. Thew do not get rid of the oil, but only emulsify it in the seawater like oil in salad dressing. The oil is still there and will remain in the water. Now it can be carried by the Gulf Stream up the East coast of the US, the Grand Banks fishing and probabily all the way to Norway. This is strictly an "Out of sight, out of mind" option.

    I don't know why this option isn't beigh used other than the word "Bacteria" scares the Coast Guard. We need to try an option that gets rid of the oil, not just disperses it.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Krista

    An engineer called into NPR this morning... he seemed to know what he was talking about. it sounds like they're trying to stop the leaks at the level of the scaffolding when they need to go below that, cut the pipe, I guess below the failed blowout preventor, then install a new one. Not sure how you can do that with liquid and gas blasting out at that speed but supposedly this is what they did in Kuwait and other places.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Trammps

    Drill baby drill! Drill baby drill! Drill baby drill! Drill baby Drill!

    To mass drills, yes! One hundred miles out
    People gettin' rich y'all gettin' down on the gas – Do you hear?
    (the folks are flaming) Folks were screamin' – out of control
    It was so entertainin' – when the rig started to explode
    I heard somebody say

    Burn baby burn! – Oil inferno!
    Burn baby burn! – Burn that Oil Rig down
    Burn baby burn! – Oil inferno!
    Burn baby burn! – Burn that Oil Rig down

    Satisfaction (uhu hu hu) came in the chain reaction
    (burnin') It couldn't get doused, (till I had to self-destroy) so it had to
    be sunk, (uhu hu hu)
    The oil was on (burnin'), rising to the top, huh!
    Everybody's goin' crazy (uhu hu hu)
    And that is when the oil got out
    I heard somebody say

    Spill baby spill! – Oil Leakin!
    Spill baby spill! – Spill that Oil all 'roun , yoh!
    Spill baby spill! – Oil Leakin!
    Spill baby spill! – Spill that Oil all 'roun

    May 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    This is NOT the same as Exxon Valdez. Heavy tar oil in frigid arctic waters spilled right onto the shore does not evaporate.

    Light sweet crude in the warm Gulf of Mexico naturally disperses and evaporates. It is NOT the same.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OxyClean

    Charles, If they can pump methanol down there, they can pump oxygen. Like a big leafblower. Maybe some other oxidant/reducing agent? But there, you have the buoyancy problem . . . Maybe an underwater liquid O2 tank with means of application

    May 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al Kahaulik

    # 189 you are really talented. Thank you for gracing us with your musical stylings.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The Trammps

    #192 you are most welcome. I will be here all week. 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris - Ohio

    I don't have a solution for the current disasterous oil spill, but the solution to future oil spills is to start developing our alternative energy sources and producing more vehicles that use them. From Natural Gas to electric to solar etc. alternative fuels exist. Develop those and require a certain percentage of new vehichles produced to use them and we begin weaning our selves from our oil addiction. This would ultimately result in no oil addiction, no further unsafe rush to find and retrive a product that we no is much more harmful than any of the alternatives. Educated people know this is the path which must be taken if we are to get to a place where we do not use a such a disasterous product as oil and gasoline, but greed and inertia to change are stopping us from even taking the first steps. Each of us should look inside our selves and see if we can put down our greed (as made apparent by our lack of efforts to move to vehicles that use alternative fuels) long enough to push government to take the required steps to help us down this path.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mk

    Do you think Sarah Palin can see the oil slick from her porch yet?

    May 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
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