A bipartisan group of four senators arrived in the Gulf Coast early Friday afternoon to tour areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) plan to visit affected areas including Grand Isle, La., one of the main beachheads that is vulnerable to widespread damage.

Cardin, Merkley and Vitter sit on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Mikulski (shown here) chairs an Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has assisted in the spill response. 

The tour comes days before President Barack Obama will meet for the first time with a senior official from BP, the company responsible for the spill. The president is scheduled to sit down with BP Chairman Carl Henric-Svanberg on Wednesday.