7 Popular Gulf Coast Beaches Devastated by the BP Oil Spill

5. Grand Isle, Louisiana

A dam protecting a beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Photo AP Photo/Patrick Semansky via The Huffington Post

On the Gulf south of New Orleans, Grand Isle, population 1,500, is a beach town that swells to house more than 12,000 people for annual fishing tournaments and Independence Day celebrations -- though since oil has been washing ashore, this year's festivities were much less crowded.

6. Barataria Bay, Louisiana

Photo via Petty Officer 3rd Class Ann Marie Gorden/US Coast Guard

This boat lays boom in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, a marsh and wetland area that has been one of the hardest hit by the oil spill. The bay is a haven for all kinds of wildlife, from birds and turtles to fish and dolphins -- so the spill has forced fishing companies to close, required the rescue of oil-covered birds, and forced the deployment of bulldozers to build sand barriers along the Bay's islands. "There is no good estuary to spill oil in, but this estuary is particularly fragile," marine biologist Mark Schexnayder told The Huffington Post.

7. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Jimmy Buffett performs a free concert in Gulf Shores, Alabama to help draw tourists to the region. Photo via picayuneitem.com.

As one of the most southern cities in Alabama, Gulf Shores -- near Pensacola -- was also one of the first to see oil come ashore. But the town, known for its golf courses, fishing trips, beach access, and restaurants, has at least one famous face on its side: singer Jimmy Buffett, who held a free concert for the region in Gulf Shores last Sunday, in an effort to revive tourism. See him sing an adapted version of Margaritaville here-- his new lyrics "but I know...it's all BP's fault." made the crowd go wild.

As more beaches close, we can only hope the most recent cap holds.

More on the BP Oil Spill
BP Oil Spill Sparks a Crude Awakening (VIDEO)
BP Oil Spill Causing More Gulf Dead Zones as Methane Levels Increase
NRDC Maps Beaches Closed By Gulf Oil Spill

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Tourism

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