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Gulf oil spill: 'Like tracking a serial killer'

Gulf oil spill: 'Like tracking a serial killer' 20 May 2010 A flotilla of shrimp boats skimmed the waters of Brenton Bay at the mouth of the Mississippi Thursday in a desperate attempt to limit the damage to coastal marshes from the long tendrils of oil snaking in from the giant spill. At least three dozen erstwhile shrimp boats, with oil-absorbing booms hanging from their outriggers instead of nets, sopped up oil the color of burnt sienna off the bay. All day, boats soaked up what crude they could, then headed to a mother ship, the engorged booms hanging from the outriggers like dead serpents. Then headed back to capture more oil. Despite the operation, the escalating destruction caused by the encroaching oil was obvious... "This is killing the marsh almost instantly," said P.J. Hahn, the clearly disheartened director of coastal management for Plaquemines Parish, a rural peninsula south of New Orleans jutting into the Gulf of Mexico. "Everything this touches, it kills."