The bay is indented and marshy, with many islands. The surrounding low-lying Barataria country, south of New Orleans and west of the Mississippi River Delta, is noted for its shrimp industry (based at villages built on pilings above the coastal marshes), muskrat trapping, natural gas wells, oil wells, and sulfur production. Its inlet is connected to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway system.
Crews work to control the damaged wellhead spewing oil into the waters of Barataria Bay.
On 27 July 2010, the tugboat Pere Ana C. struck an abandoned wellhead owned by Houston-based Cedyco Corp, while pulling a barge near Bayou St. Denis in Barataria Bay, causing a 20-to-100-foot (6.1 to 30.5 m) oil and gas geyser.
The geyser was brought under control and the wellhead was repaired and capped on 1 August 2010, five days after the collision.