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At first glance, you might not even notice the dead fish in the picture above -- there are too many of them. But no, that's not a gravely parking lot. It's a section of the Mississippi River that has been clogged with thousands of dead fish in the wake of the BP Gulf spill. And while investigation as to the cause of the mass fish kill is still underway, there are fears that new toxins in the water from spilled oil or chemical dispersants have played a role.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the fish were found and photographed in a bayou on the west side of the Mississippi late last week, in the Plaquemines Parish of Louisiana. Plaquemines was one of the earliest areas to be impacted by the BP Gulf spill, and it was also one of the heaviest hit. Now, this happening with alarming frequency:
Plaquemines Parish officials have asked state wildlife officials to investigate what they said is a massive fish kill at Bayou Chaland on the west side of the Mississippi River late Friday.
The fish kill was reported to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and the cause has not yet been determined, the parish said. The fish were found in an area that has been impacted by the oil from the the BP Gulf spill, the parish said ... The dead fish include pogies, redfish, drum, crabs, shrimp and freshwater eel, the parish said.
Other recent mass fish kills have been attributed to low levels of oxygen in the water, but parish officials are eager to know what exactly is causing those abnormally low levels.
It's just another reminder -- as if we needed another one -- that the BP spill is far, far from over.
This post originally appeared on TreeHugger.com. TreeHugger is a Discover Company dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.
Brian Merchant is a freelance writer for TreeHugger who covers politics with a focus on climate and energy issues.