According to the Washington Post, the Gulf Coast oil spill is now forecast to hit critical wildlife habitat tonight, a full day ahead of schedule:

“We are expecting to see the first impact at Pass-A-Loutre today, Chandeleur Islands on Saturday,” [Lousiana Gov. Bobby] Jindal said at a briefing in Baton Rouge.

The Coast Guard confirmed that the leading edge of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is three miles from Pass-A-Loutre Wildlife Management Area, the Reuters news agency reported. The area is at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The spill could threaten wildlife, tourism and the livelihoods of fishermen. “We are being very aggressive and we are prepared for the worst case,” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hare, the service’s deputy commandant for operations, said at the White House.

The forecast shown in that NOAA graphic is looking like some of the worst-case scenarios we’ve been hearing. The National Wildlife Federation has staff on the Gulf Coast right now & we’ll be bringing you all the latest news on wildlife impacts & how you can help.

For the latest on the Gulf Coast Oil Spill & how you can help, visit

Photo via US Coast Guard’s Flickr