Traps and booms

Breton Sound, La. -- This is what it is all about. In the foreground are crab traps. They should be out in the water at this time of year. Instead, they are sitting on the dock. Meanwhile on the boat, deckhands are preparing to set off with a load of oil restraining boom.

I spent the morning out along Bayou La Loutre in St. Bernard Parish, La. An oil disaster response staging area has been set up here on Breton Sound.

I'll post more photos later, but everyone seems to be here: Louisiana National Guard, BP employees, fishermen working as contract workers, truckers, construction crews, the Coast Guard, federal and state environmental agencies, even a Small Business Administration mobile office. I visited the dining tent just as breakfast was ending. Between 800 and 1,000 people are served three meals a day here. It's a busy, busy place.

I came here because it was the only place I could meet Craig P. Taffaro, the president of St. Bernard Parish (the civil government). He has set up shop out here for the duration of the crisis. How long will that be? No one knows, but here's a hint. Taffaro and his staff are sharing a temporary trailer with the Coast Guard and several contractors. Across the road, they are building a new, more permanent headquarters.

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