By Tasha Eichenseher
From my desk in D.C., I’ve been tracking the Expedition Blue Planet bus as it makes its way across the country. And this week I finally got to meet up with Alexandra Cousteau and her team in the field.
I found them in Cut Off, Louisiana, an hour southwest of New Orleans. It’s a funny name for a town until you realize just how appropriate it is.
Cut Off is a close-knit community of fisherman and oil workers laboring long and dirty days in front of a backdrop of Wal-Mart-dominated strip malls, hurricane-ready homes and docks, and now oil spill recovery efforts.
The crew started work at 4:00 a.m. Thursday with a trip down the Dixie Delta Canal. Our guide: Scott St. Pierre, captain of the Mom and Dad, a shrimper-cum-vessel-of-opportunity. His good spirits were enough to distract me from the hummingbird-sized mosquitoes and the temperature and humidity, which, even at that godforsaken hour, were stifling.
Photograph by Oscar Durand/Expedition Blue Planet
After our time with Scott, we traveled farther west, across the Grand Bayou to Pointe au Chien, where Louisiana Highway 665 disappears into a maze of battered wetlands, to meet with noted chemist and activist Wilma Subra.