"In Grand Isle, despairing for a way of life"
More than six months after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Grand Isle is still struggling.
Residents are sick, physically and emotionally. Many are devastated financially. They say the place they call home and its prized resources have been tainted and tarnished. And more painfully, they think the world has forgotten them.
"We believe that it's a God-given right for everyone to have clean air, clean water, clean land on which to live," said resident Karen Hopkins, a member of Gulf Change. "Our land is not clean. Our water is not clean."
When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April, killing 11 men and spewing oil into the fertile fishing grounds off Louisiana's fragile coast for 86 days, communities such as Grand Isle and Jean Lafitte were immediately thrown into crisis, just as many were just tenuously getting back on their feet after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav.
Although government responders in charge of the cleanup declared in October that the oil is mostly gone, Hopkins said that the real recovery work should just be starting...