A federal judge’s recent order stopping construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline — though only in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin — has successfully prevented further sections of the National Heritage Area from being destroyed, for now.
On February 27, the same day U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick explained her previous week’s ruling to halt work on the pipeline, Dean Wilson, executive director of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, surveyed the oil pipeline's route in the basin. He was relieved to find cypress trees recently identified as “legacy trees” — those which were alive before 1803 — still standing.
I spoke to Wilson after he toured the pipeline route. He told me he was relieved to discover much of the route through the basin’s east side still intact. The damage done on the west side was heartbreaking, but at least the pipeline has yet to be put in the ground, he said.
Drone video shot by Phin Percy, an independent camera operator, shows the pipeline route on the west side of the basin, where a swath of trees up to 75 feet deep has already been pulverized...