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Barataria Bay

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Title: Barataria Bay  
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Subject: Jean Lafitte, Vincenzo Gambi, 2010 industrial disasters, USS Carolina (1812), Crime in Louisiana
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Barataria Bay

Barataria Bay [lower right] is a bay of the Gulf of Mexico that is located between Empire and Grand Isle, Louisiana [enlarge].

Barataria Bay, also Barrataria Bay, is a bay of the Gulf of Mexico, about 15 miles (24 km) long and 12 miles (19 km) wide, in southeastern Louisiana, in Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish, United States. It is separated from the gulf by two barrier islands, Grand Isle and Grand Terra.[1]

The bay takes its name from the Spanish novel Don Quixote, in which the insula Barataria, or Barataria island, appears as a fictional territory governed by Sancho Panza.[2][3]


The bay is indented and marshy with many islands. The surrounding low-lying Barataria Country, south of New Orleans and west of the Mississippi River delta, is noted for its shrimp industry (based on villages built on pilings above the coastal marshes), muskrat trapping, natural gas and oil wells, and sulfur production. Its inlet is connected to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway system.[1]


Barataria Bay was used as the base of the pirates and privateers led by Jean Lafitte[4] in the early 19th century, and is today a notable source of shrimp and sulfur, as well as of muskrat fur, natural gas, and petroleum. Until Hurricane Betsy made landfall in 1965, Barataria Bay was home to Manila Village.[5]

2010 oil spill

Crews work to control the damaged wellhead spewing oil into the waters of Barataria Bay.

On 27 July 2010, the tugboat Pere Ana C. struck an abandoned wellhead owned by Houston-based Cedyco Corp, while pulling a barge near Bayou St. Denis in Barataria Bay, causing a 20-to-100-foot (6.1 to 30.5 m) oil and gas geyser.[6][7]

The geyser was brought under control and the wellhead was repaired and capped on 1 August 2010, five days after the collision.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Leeper, Clare D'Artois (19 October 2012). Louisiana Place Names: Popular, Unusual, and Forgotten Stories of Towns, Cities, Plantations, Bayous, and Even Some Cemeteries. LSU Press. p. 28.  
  3. ^ "How swampy Barataria got its name: A letter to the editor". Greater New Orleans. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  4. ^ William C. Davis (2004). Lone Star Rising: The Revolutionary Birth of the Texas Republic. Free Press. p. 32.  
  5. ^ Ginn, Chris (24 July 2008). "Revered Remnants". Louisiana Sportsman Magazine. Sportsman Magazines. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  6. ^ The Associated Press (27 July 2010). "Louisiana Oil Geyser: 20-Foot Oil Leak Shooting Up In Plaquemines Parish After Hit By Tugboat". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Rong-Gong Lin II (27 July 2010). "Gulf oil spill: New spill in Gulf area after barge crashes into abandoned oil well". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Crews work to shut-in damaged wellhead". United States Coast Guard. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  9. ^ CNN wire staff (2 August 2010). "Leaking Barataria Bay oil well capped". CNN. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 

External links

  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Barataria Bay

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