Public Lab Research note

2011 Barataria Bay mapping fieldnotes, maps, mapping tracks, images

by Shannon , adam-griffith , gonzoearth , warren | August 14, 2014 18:15 14 Aug 18:15 | #11049 | #11049

When writing an intro to the upcoming Barataria mapping publication, I came across a Google Doc last edited in December 2011, with @Adam-Griffith, @gonzoearth and @warren as shared collaborators. I'm posting the contents in this research note so it's available to the current 2014 Barataria mapping team including @Stevie, @eustatic @astoicof @danbeavers and @Matt_P.

Public Laboratory - Barataria Bay, Louisiana


2010-5-30-louisiana-barataria-bay * Location:Start: 29.92095,-90.10530 (I think this is off, shows up in Uptown NOLA) * Images: 110 * this is a KAP set, and has not been published because the images are kind of wild, blurry, off angle. And we do not know the approx location. * Mapping Notes: suggest try to locate the best ones, revisit.


2011-2-25-louisiana-barataria-bay * Location: kml flight path * Images: 414 * Sites: Lots of extent and clarity. There are maps encircling the entire bay. * Obliques: there are some really cool obliques from this flight, and I have already put some of them together. Also never really figured out how to post them on the site. There are probably too many to do them all as notes.


  • lost-bayou 421-454 (34)
  • lost-bayou-south 455-458 (4)
  • bay-batiste 459-478 (20)
  • bay-jimmy-south 479-501, 782-789 (31)
  • wilkinson-bayou 502-781(280) -
  • wilkinson-bay 790(1)
  • barataria-birds 792-794 (4)
  • hackberry-bay 806-809 (4)
  • barataria-bay-NW 795-805 (11)
  • cat-bay 258-263 (6)
  • bay-melville 244-256 (16)


[SW of Barataria]

*elmers-island 810-960 (151) * fifi-island 961-988 (28) * grand-isle-west 164-167 (5) * takeoff (various obliques along the way)(84) * final-approach (various obliques along the way)(113)



Location: Have not yet located each flight from this trip. work in progress matching the time with the gps tracks. the tracks are not super detailed and the time sequence does not match, causing difficulty. * Images: 4597 * IR images: 2193 * 2011-5-11-louisiana-barataria-bay * Location: * Images: 393 * IR images: 1177 * 5-10 tracks:


5-11 tracks:


5-11: location?:


These notes are combined from the 10th and 11th, both in the same areas. A copy is included in each folder.

Cesar Harada came on the 10th, and Shannon Dosemagen, Jeffrey Warren, and Adam Griffith came on both days.

Alex Kolker and Alex Ameen from LUMCON brought us out on their research boat (brought down from Cocodrie) for the 2 days of testing.

LUMCON (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium) was testing 20 sites which had been classified as High, Medium, Low, and None for oil contamination based on SCAT (Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team) team reports. They used a laser rangefinder and 3 PVC marker poles which they'd placed at each site to attempt shoreline loss rates, measured dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, and oxygen saturation, and took panoramic photos of the shoreline from the middle of the 3 poles for each site.

We assisted in the tests, taking matching panoramas in near-infrared and ultraviolet for each site, and did several kite flights, towing behind the boat, with a regular camera, then with an infrared/visible camera pair. Winds at approx. 10-15mph made it difficult to get the kite directly over the shoreline for some areas. Scattered clouds for some of the day but for the most part clear skies and good light. We used a 3000 foot reel of #100 lb dacron kite string, and got to between 300-800 feet of altitude, which we occasionally measured with a laser rangefinder (triangulating). We variously used Canon A490s (infrared/visible aerial) Canon SD1300 IS (just visible aerial) Canon SD4000 IS (ultraviolet ground photos), and Kodak EasyShare C143 (infrared ground photos).


Propane-powered air cannons were set up on near site BH1 and BL3, and especially BH2, also poles with mylar streamers, to scare geese away from oiled areas.

Guys came to tell us they were working with machines (backhoes and/or cranes on fanboats)

  • said they wanted a 300-ft buffer zone, and did not make it clear they were with the cleanup. They took pictures of us on the 11th, and we took pictures back.
  • there were fan boats and other boats, probably a half-dozen that we could see. Also a barge with dumpsters and porto-potties on it.
  • generally professional though not friendly; they did not cite any specific role or mandate which gave them authority but acted with a tone of authority

Separately, Environmental Services LLC (adam saw United States Environmental Services LLC on one boat) sped by with 5 boats; they dock at the same place we put in. Myrtle Grove, at Port Sulphur.

We saw a sea snake, lots of birds: ibis, flamingo, frigate bird (near BN4) -- mostly near the southeastern sites. That was also the area we saw the most oil infrastructure; platforms, giant tanks, PVC pipeline markers, decrepit infrastructure (tanks fallen in the water, twisted broken ladders and pipes). Also several platforms with smokestacks, some of which were flaming.

New green growth at the edge of the marsh can be seen in most of the panorama photos.

2011-6-30-louisiana-barataria-bay Images: 437 IR images: 444 Ground, UV: 325 Mapping Notes: flight over mostly water. Just 3 images of unknown bayou. 2011-7-1-louisiana-barataria-bay Images: 1435 Location: 29.440003° -89.905498° (start) Mapping Notes: Great flight.


2011-10-4-louisiana-barataria-bay Imagery: 1912 aerial, ground-ir and ground-vis Location: 29.448984° -89.903967° Plot1 is the start point, Plot 2 and 3 was where there was still contaminated wetland- we were no more than 20 feet directly east of these points in the water.

Plots1 (start)

  • 29o 26'46.4", 89o 54' 27.3"
  • [29.446222 -89.907583]

Plots 2

  • 29o 27'09.7, 89o 53' 35.1"
  • [29.452694, -89.893083]

Plots 3

  • 29o 26' 22.6", 89o54'14.7"
  • [29.439611, -89.904083]
  • Mapping Notes: Another great flight.



Mapper Notes

We saw about 50-60 white pelicans which are birds that come to the wetlands of Louisiana in the winter months, a nutria in the grass of one of the low oiled areas, lots of porpoises (which is usual). It is currently white shrimp season, we saw about 20-25 trawlers out in the bay areas, have heard though that there are low catches overall. Coordinates for PLOTS2 associate with site BC1 from a prior study of LUMCON which we flew over and still shows signs of contamination. Alex Kolker questioned why they are cutting back marsh grass instead of letting it grow when new shoots appeared to be coming out from the oiled areas when he was last in the bay.


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