Nicked from CC, who nicked it from Mind of Dan:
My tuppence: that poorly laid boom might be a result the fact that BP and the US government had to mobilise just about every available boat to contain the spill. It's understandable that shrimp boat crews are not trained in boom laying because their business is shrimp, not sticking holes in the Earth's crust 1600 metres under water to pump out high pressure poisoness goo. I suspect it's also likely that the the powers that be may have wanted to lay as much boom as possible as fast as possible, a scenario which reeks of a panicked, ad hoc effort attempting to pass for decisive competence.
Had there been some proficient, methodical appreciation of the containment effort, perhaps the deployment of boom training teams to train the civilian boat crews in proper boom technique, they might have saved some coastline and oyster beds. Then again, the scale of this problem could simply be too great.
A lesson here may be to include a mandate that oil companies train and pay local boat operators a retainer (and their business insurance) in case they fuck up again.
I suppose we should be grateful nobody's said "heckofa job" yet.