Down in Plaquemines Parish

On Saturday, the pelican pits beneath the fish cleaning tables at the Venice Marina were empty.

It was eerie to note the absence compared to my last visit - just over two years ago, when I took this photo.

I didn't see a single pelican this time.

Crews of workers fresh off of "vessels of opportunity" walked along the roads and people in military fatigues sat at checkpoints near key entries to Cypress Cove Marina.

We also saw this creature sitting amongst the airboats and other trailered boats:

The Kevin Costner solution?  Or not?

Fort Jackson, the old 1820s fort just above Venice on the Mississippi, looked like part of a war zone once more.  Military aviation fuel vehicles were arrayed across the field from an improvised helipad - where various Coast Guard helicopters took off from - and one giant Chinook that was carrying a large payload.

Overall, it was not really possible to get to any of the oiled marshes without a boat - and all of those that were shuttling people out of the marinas seemed to be out for the day.  We tried to visit the oiled animal rehabilitation center at Fort Jackson, but it was closed - even to my friend who had a press pass - and is only open for media visits from 1-2 p.m. each day.