Is the Gulf Oil Spill Louisana's Next Katrina?

The recent BP oil spill in the Gulf is, simply put, a disaster. If you haven't been keeping track of the ultra-depressing news, here's what's happening: A BP rig exploded, caught fire, and sank. An oil spill ensued. Federal officials estimate that 5,000 barrels of oil are leaking each day. But what's most worrying is that the growing oil slick is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast by Friday, with Alabama and Mississippi expected to have oil on their shores as well by Sunday. For the fragile Louisiana coast--home to 40% nation's wetlands--this could mean an ecological mess.

A number of animals are at risk when the slick hits land, according to CBS, including sea turtles, sharks, brown pelicans, and dolphins. "The fisheries, nesting birds, the barrier islands, the birds of the delta of Louisiana--all of the areas are very sensitive," explained Sidney Coffee, the senior adviser to America's WETLAND Foundation. "This is a huge estuary. Up to 90% of marine species in the Gulf of Mexico spend part of their life in these wetlands."

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