The meandering sand dunes and bird islands of Barataria Bay have become the epicenter of the environmental disaster spewing from BP's offshore well. And fishermen are bitter.
Everything from crabbing to bait fishing is shutting down, and the anger on the bayou is palpable.
"It's scary, you know, man," marine mechanic Jimmy Howard said from his ramshackle and hurricane-battered fishing shack, a cigar stub stuffed in his mouth. "I see them doing what they can, you know. All the boats going out, all the boom. I'm hoping they can contain it."
Barataria teems with wildlife, including alligators, bullfrogs, bald eagles and migratory birds from the Caribbean and South America. There are even Louisiana black bears in the upper basin's hardwood forests.
Before the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20, oyster and shrimp boats plowed through these productive bays as fishermen snapped up speckled trout and redfish within minutes of casting their lines.
Now it resembles an environmental war zone. Many of the bay's nesting islands for birds are girded by oil containment boom, and crews in white disposable protective suits change out coils of absorbents to soak up the sticky mess.
Barataria has played a vital role in Louisiana history. It is where the pirate and Battle of New Orleans hero Jean Lafitte established his colony of Baratarians. The estuary was also the setting for "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin. As other wealthy 19th-century New Orleanians, Chopin spent summers on Grand Isle, to the bay's south, and made the evocative island a focus of her work.
"I'm pissed - and you can print that," said Donna Hollis, 39, hanging out in a tank-top and with a cigarette at Jimmy Howard's camp in Wilkinson Canal.
She echoed Jefferson Parish council chairman John Young: "This is a battle. Oil's our enemy right now. This is going to destroy the livelihoods of these people in south Louisiana."