The environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is certainly widespread. Environmental agencies and interest groups are already mobilizing to try to contain oil in the best way possible.
At best, they will be able to keep oil off the coast and contain the Gulf. However, the difference is likely to continue. In the worst case, the deployment of the eastern coastline will begin.
Despite the inevitable large-scale effects, the most affected area will be Louisiana. Many of Louisiana's major industries are already feeling hurt by this spill (the time of writing this month is old), and things will get worse over time.
This article will explore the industries most at risk.
Industries at risk
Shrimpers: Shrimp has been a mainstay in Louisiana since before the 1800s. They have a long and established tradition. Unfortunately, the shrimp industry was one of the first to panic. They recognized the fragility of the ecosystem surrounding their cash crops and understood that oil would be devastating. This fact has been widely recognized to the extent that the state declared an emergency shrimp season a few days after the spill, knowing that all shrimp will need to collect something to sustain themselves in the coming months and possibly even years.
Oyster farmers: Nearly 4,800 jobs in Louisiana are based around oyster farming, and now they are all at risk. Just like shrimp, oysters are grown largely through mariculture, which means farming by sea.
Other fishing projects: With the ocean being very abundant and very close, Los Angeles has become heavily dependent on all fishing industries. This includes other lesser-known projects.
Louisiana Tourism IndustriesThe tourism industry is an extensive network of travel agencies, booking networks, hotels, tour guides and more. Each piece of this complex chain will begin to suffer as more and more people avoid the oil-infested waters off the Louisiana coast. This will affect even the nearby cities if vapors begin to leak on past coasts.
Beachfront Real EstateNot only is the value of real estate off the coast of Los Angeles real estate in short-term trouble, but the entire real estate industry will have to transform and evolve depending on how long it takes to clean up and how much the environment is affected by the inherent effects.
Boat OperatorsThere are many reasons to own and operate a boat in Louisiana, be it for tours, guides, fishing or entertainment. All these owners will have to carefully monitor the damage their ships receive and minimize where and when they can actually get out on the water.
Oil industry workersIt may be easy to think of oil industry workers as the "enemy" at the moment, but they are just people trying to make a living. The sharp reaction from this incident is likely to jeopardize many oil initiatives around Los Angeles and reduce job opportunities.
Restaurants: Many restaurants in Louisiana have seafood menu. I have long relied on the resources close to the fish to keep their stocks fresh and delicious. Restaurant owners will not only suffer from shortages of inventory and high import prices, but also all individuals working in those restaurants and people working in the fish "pipeline" that keeps supply satisfying demand.
As you might imagine, the industries described here are not a comprehensive list of all who will be affected. Time alone will reveal how many individuals and industries will have to shift dramatically to survive (and their number will not survive at all).