The oil has already hit more than 65 miles of shoreline, and the slick is now as big as Maryland and Delaware combined.
In Port Fourchon, people are already knee-deep in oil. Teams of cleanup crews have descended on the beach, sopping up and bagging countless gallons of crude. There is so much oil in the water that layers of boom designed to soak it up have to be replaced continuously.
"It's absorbed a good amount of oil," said Lt. Michelle Curry, who oversees the beach battle for the U.S. Coast Guard.
It's easy to see what's at stake. While beaches can be cleaned up, the marshes cannot, and marshes make up the majority of Louisiana's coastline.
Many marshes have already been lost. Jindal said that oil has seeped as far as 10 miles into some of the state's fragile marshlands, areas teeming with wildlife.
In Port Fourchon, crews will try to keep up with what can seem to be a futile fight. They're fighting an enemy that grows every day, gushing far more oil than anyone can mop up.
"It is heartbreaking," said Curry, who lives in the same region that she's now trying to save. "I do hear [the community's] stories and I feel for them. And I'm just as frustrated as they are, and we're all doing our best to try to get this thing manageable and cleaned up."