The happy talk doesn't sit right with many folks in Grand Isle. For most Louisianans, the island beach community is a refuge from the heat and the stickiness of the swamps and marshlands nearby. It’s a place to let your hair down, run through the sand and forget about the modern day hassles that plague us all.
But the BP oil disaster changed all that. Grand Isle was one of the hardest hit of all area in the Gulf. A year later, residents still struggle with rebuilding their lives, praying that tourists will once again venture to this sandy outcrop on Louisiana’s most southern coast. The early signs here are not very good. Tar balls continue to wash in, another oil spill dumped more crude on the beaches a few months ago, and ocean waves still spit brown, dirty foam onto the beach. Dead fish and birds dot the beaches.
All of this does not deter the hardy, vivacious souls of this wind-swept coast from remembering the good life and having some fun. With this in mind, locals Karen Hopkins and Darlene Eschete organized the Big Oil Panty Protest, described as a day of “peaceful protest for the lack of response and cover-up of the clean-up and health issues experienced by many Gulf residents.” Here’s how they advertised it on Facebook:
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