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Gulf Coast fortifies defenses against oil from the spill

BILOXI — As oil spread toward Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana and closed more of the Gulf to fishing, defenses were fortified along the Mississippi Coast on Monday.

Tar balls were found Monday in one of the passes that connects Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico and the ban on fishing in federal waters was extended to about 81,000 square miles, which is about a third of the Gulf.

In South Mississippi, crews were cleaning tar balls and fireworks from the beaches and installing more booms to keep the oil off the sand.

Between the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino and the Interstate 110 loop Monday, a crew was erecting what looked like colorful children’s blocks.

Travis Jennings Sr. of Belle Chase, La., said he woke up at 5 a.m. with the idea for Department of Da’Fence. The frame is made of PVC pipe. A chicken wire backing gives it strength and two layers of colorful polyester fabric let the water go through but keep the oil out.

“Oil doesn’t adhere to polyester. It slides right off,” he said.

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