Aaron Viles, director for New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental group, said he flew over the spill Sunday and saw what was likely a sperm whale in the oil sheen.
"There are going to be significant marine impacts," he said.
According to the AP:
Concern Monday focused on the Chandeleur and Breton barrier islands in Louisiana, where thousands of birds are nesting.
"It's already a fragile system. It would be devastating to see anything happen to that system," said Mark Kulp, a University of New Orleans geologist.The spill also threatened oyster beds in Breton Sound on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Harvesters could only watch and wait.
If the oil continues oozing north, the white-sand beaches in Mississipi, Alabama and west Florida could be fouled.
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal asked the Coast Guard to use containment booms, which float like a string of fat sausage links to hold back oil until it can be skimmed off the surface. Crews were trying to keep oil out of the Pass A Loutre wildlife area, a 115,000-acre preserve that is home to alligators, birds and fish near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
A fleet of boats and containment equipment was working to skim oil from the surface of the Gulf late last week. But a weather system that spawned deadly tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi and stirred up heavy seas over the weekend forced crews to suspend their efforts.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell said 32 vessels are waiting for conditions to improve to resume the cleanup. She could not say when they will be back at work, but she said 23,000 feet of containment boom had been deployed, 70,000 more were ready to go when the effort resumes, and another 50,000 feet were on order.