Person of the Week: Children of the Gulf -- Frightened by Oil Spill but Hopeful for Future

Oil Spill Also Affecting Young CitizensABC News
Despite their young age, children living near the Gulf Coast are deeply affected by what is happening to their home.

The oil spill is a growing disaster for the nation, but for the youngest citizens of the Gulf, it has become a nightmare.

"Oil just got on top of houses and got on our grass, and we couldn't live in Louisiana no more," little Myisha Isidore says, describing a haunting dream she had about the oil.

Despite their young age, children living near the Gulf Coast feel the effects of what is happening to their homes. ABC News' Chris Cuomo sat down with a group of children who live in Louisiana and spoke to them about what's on their minds.

VIDEO: "World News" Persons of the Week are the youngest victims of the oil spill.Play

Many of the children express concern about how the oil is harming the environment; others worry as they see their parents lose their jobs. A Louisiana Louisiana boy, Toi Barthelemy, feels his father's struggle.

"It affects me because my dad makes dredges, and since this happened, he's not working a lot right now," he says.

In Point La Hache, everyone makes their living from the water, and the children understand that life is going to change if local fisherman cannot fish in the soiled water. Denerial Reddick knows these are difficult times.

"The fishes might die, and they won't have no more seafood," he says.

Times were already hard in the Bayou region, as residents were still recovering from the after effects of Hurricane Katrina. Now they must find a way to cope with this new disaster that is interrupting their way of life.

"My pop used to take me bayou fishing, and we can't go there no more," says Reddick.

In South Plaquemine, young students at the elementary school in Buras draw pictures as a way to calm their fears. One little boy drew a stick figure with a frown.

"It's a picture of me being sad because of the oil spill," he explains. A lot of the children fear the oil will damage their land and hurt the animals they love.

"It's killing all the fishes and sharks," says one young student. "The grass, the snakes," other children shout out.

Not only are these young students worried about the environmental harm and the financial strain the spill is causing, they also fear for their own health. "It can make us sick," says one student.

Not Even Mom and Dad Can "Get Away" the Oil

Like many adults, these children are not pleased with the attempts to clean up the oil spill or plug the leak. They say no one is cleaning up the oil, not even their parents. "Mom and dad can't get away the oil spill," one child says.

The children are looking for someone to handle what they call a "big job." When asked who will help get the job done, one boy answers: "Barack Obama."

Hopeful Solutions: "Get a Big Hovercraft"

As the children of the Gulf continue to seek answers, they do not let their fears stop them from believing that one day soon there will be a solution. "You should get a big hovercraft and barrels as big as this room and suck it all up with a hose," one little boy offers his solution. Another boy shouts his idea, "They should put some booms down and get a bucket to pick it up."

While their solutions seem simple, the children of the Gulf are seriously thinking about their futures.

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