Volunteers use airborne patrols, satellite photos to spot oil spills along La. coast

Jonathan Henderson was shouting to be heard over the engine noise in the small plane as it circled above an oil rig just off the Louisiana coast. A ribbon of colored water extended from the rig for about 100 yards, and Henderson had asked the pilot for a closer look.

“Right there, that’s sheen,” Henderson yelled. “In fact, rainbow sheen tells us it’s oil, and it’s probably coming from that platform.”

He snapped a few pictures and jotted on a notepad.

“When we get back, I’ll make a report,” said Henderson of the Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental group based in New Orleans.

This story was originally published by The Lens, an independent, nonprofit newsroom serving New Orleans. To read original story in The Lens, please click here.