EPA chief on Gulf Coast: No ‘Armageddon,’ but years needed to track spill impact

Jackson — a New Orleans native — was in the city Wednesday and toured marshes and wetlands along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. 

The Gulf Coast faced a suite of environmental challenges, including wetlands loss, even before the BP spill. “There has been so much damage for so many decades,” Jackson said, noting she took a helicopter flight Wednesday over a bay that was marshland 20 years ago.

“We are dealing with big changes to an ecosystem that in many ways is resilient but is ironically fragile at the same time,” Jackson said.

She added:

“What we need at this point is for people all along the Gulf, not just in Louisiana, to come together to advocate for the Gulf and to say to their elected leaders and each other, 'We are stronger together. We have to come together and make this Gulf ready for the next 100 years, resilient, strong, and we have to repair it.'”