Louisiana's Gov. Bobby Jindal has been pushing for artificial barrier islands to be built just beyond the delicate marshes along the shoreline, and work has been under way. But Tuesday night it was stopped because federal officials told the state it needed more complete safety certification.
Jindal said it was just another case of red tape.
"Don't stop the work here," he said. "Every day they wait, oil comes to our wetlands."
ABC News' Sharyn Alfonsi and Zunaira Zaki, and ABC News Radio and The Associated Press, contributed to this report.