It's been more than a month since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 people and blew out an undersea well that continues to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
In the following weeks, there have been attempts to contain and control the scope of the environmental damage.
But so far none have been successful.
Over the weekend, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced he intended to proceed with plans to construct sand booms to protect his state's shoreline - without waiting for federal approval.
Meanwhile, engineers for BP are working feverishly to prepare for their "top kill" maneuver, hoping an injection of heavy mud will stop the leak.
Dead sharks and dolphins are washing ashore.
Crabs, turtles and birds are being found soaked in oil as the slick sloshes into Louisiana wetlands.
South of New Orleans, chocolate-like globs of oil have shut down the public beach.
Coast Guard officials say the spill's impact now stretches 150 miles.
Some scientists fear the spreading plumes will catch the ocean current to the Florida Keys and up to the eastern seaboard.
Photographers' images, some of them chillingly beautiful, can only begin to hint at the enormity of the disaster.
Image: A signboard seen in Grand Isle, Louisiana on Thursday, May 27.
Text and images: AP (Any unauthorised reproduction is strictly prohibited)