As the focus shifts from oil surge to clean up operations following the disaster aboard BP’s Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, CNN’s Rob Marciano reports on what it will take to skim the oil from the ocean, decontaminate beaches, and rescue animals fouled by oil.
Marciano joined the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elm, 9 miles off the coast of Alabama to learn first-hand how oil skimming really works. From the engine room to the navigation deck, Marciano shows viewers the sights, sounds and smells of the intense, interconnected teamwork that keeps this uniquely massive 24-hour operation going. Gripping oil slicked ropes on the deck to steady the skimmer and boom, in scorching +100-degree sun and oppressive oil fumes, Marciano accompanies the crew as they siphon oil to a nearby barge. Back on shore, he reports on the beach cleaning crews battling fatigue and frustration as they confront the sheer enormity of clearing wide swaths of oil and tar balls that arrive with each tide. As they shovel and bag oil deposits, the oppressive heat ‘nearly melts [the] mind,’ Marciano explains.
Marciano will also be on the front lines with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the International Wildlife Bird Rescue and Research Center as they rescue and rehabilitate oiled birds from the wild, reporting on the painstaking work being done to clean oiled feathers, nurse wildlife back to health and release birds into safer areas along the Texas coast.
“The persistence of the people working to clean up the Gulf demonstrates their grit and strength,” says Marciano. “It’s a fight and a struggle every day – against the elements, against the oil, against sheer exhaustion. This is what it takes. Viewers will be inspired by their extraordinary determination to reclaim their way of life.”
More information on how viewers can support the clean-up activities in the Gulf of Mexico can be found by following the link.