[StBernard] Our local fisherman need our support!

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed May 22 09:51:53 EDT 2013

Easier link to petition


-----Original Message-----

Our seafood industry is being threatened, and we need your
support! Last year the Louisiana legislature approved the 2012 Coastal
Master Plan. It is a plan of 109 projects with a price tag of $50 billion
designed to save Louisiana from coastal erosion. We commend our elected
officials for acting on this all important issue.

No one wants to save our coast more than we do.

We are residents and make our living on the land that we are quickly losing.
We are the people of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, and all of the
coastal parishes. We are commercial and recreational fisherman, shrimpers,
crabbers, oyster fisherman. We are the businesses that support the fishing
industry and are supported by it, packaging plants, ice plants, restaurants,
and grocery stores. We are the people who love Louisiana and its seafood
because there is nothing in the world like it. We are invested in our coast
and will support the restoration of it any way we can; however, there is a
serious issue with the master plan. While the vast majority of it would be
helpful to restoring our coast, there is one project that will be
detrimental. A section of the plan calls for the construction of 10
diversions, spillways that will divert fresh water from the Mississippi
river into our salt water marshes. There are diversions that already exist
today, like the diversions in Caernarvon and West Point a la Hache, but they
in no way compare to the massive size of the proposed structures. The
Caernarvon diversion for example has a max flow rate of 8000 cfs (cubic feet
per second); two of the master plan's diversions will have max flow rates of
250,000 cfs. To put this in perspective that is the same size as the Bonnet
Carre spillway!

Diversions of this size will destroy our entire fishing industry as
we know it. The best oyster beds in the world will no longer exist, the
shrimp and crab population will be devastated, trout fishing will be a thing
of the past. If

this sounds dramatic, it's because it is! Our fisherman came back from
Katrina, they are still fighting their way back from BP, but this will be
much worse than either of those. These diversions will be permanent
structures, our industries, our heritage, our way of life, will have no
chance of coming back. The officials who created this plan are not arguing
the consequences, they say that the diversions will displace residents and
change the fishing industry but that is an acceptable trade-off! We say it
is not, we will not give up our homes and our industry for an idea that they
don't even know the effects of. The men and women who formed this coalition
have spent their lives on these waters, I trust that they know and want what
is best for it, more than the politicians in Baton Rouge. It is not their
homes or jobs that will be affected, it is ours, and we need to stand
together and fight.

The St. Bernard and Plaquemines parish governments are both in full support
of our group, and even passed ordinances opposing the construction of any
new diversions.

Sign Petition!

As bad as that sounds, it isn't even the worst part. On top of
demolishing the most valuable industry coastal Louisiana has, many
scientists believe that large scale diversions simply will not work, and
they have history on their side. Three of the longest running diversions
currently in operation are Caernarvon, Naomi, and West Point a la Hache.
These diversions have been in operation since the 90's and no significant
land development has occurred, in fact the Caernarvon diversion has actually
eroded land! Furthermore, any land that does develop from fresh water is
highly susceptible to storms. The Mississippi is not the same as it was 100
years ago when its annual flooding sustained our land. Current numbers
estimate that it has only about 1/4 of the silt that used to flow down it,
and the waters are highly polluted. The river water that will be diverted is
full of fertilizers from the farmland in the Midwest. This allows for quick
growth above the surface, but no substantial root system, completely unlike
our natural marshes. Every storm that blows through will destroy any
progress that the diversion appears to have made. This was proven after
Hurricane Katrina where in the path of the Caernarvon diversion 50% of the
land was lost. The natural salt water marshes of Delacroix and the Biloxi
marsh only saw 2-10% erosion. So we are going to build structures that cost
us millions of dollars, that even at best case scenario will take decades to
build land, and that storms will destroy every time they blow through. It
makes absolutely no sense!

Let me be clear, we are for coastal restoration, and even for a
lot of the master plan. The coast is our home and our livelihood. We want to
save it more than anyone, but these large scale diversions are not the
answer. There are several other PROVEN methods, including dredging and
land-building that would be much more successful than the diversions, will
have immediate results, and will not take our industry away from us in the
process. A coalition has been formed, The Save Louisiana Coalition, and we
are asking for your support. Please join our fight and help to spread the
word. This is the most important fight of our lifetime, and to be
successful, we need everyone that this will affect to stand together with
us. So join our coalition, Sign our petition,
nUFNaA_2zBy_CUMMpFc=> forward this message to your elected officials,
educate your family and friends, and thank you for supporting coastal

a=lduplessis%40sbpg.net> Like us on Facebook


Kerri Callais-Lubrano

Callais Ice Service

Clint Guidry
President, LA Shrimp Assoc.
Chairman, GO-FISH Coalition

Robbie Campo
Owner, Campo's Marina and Oyster Fisherman

Mike Lane - Owner RodnReel.com
Captain George Ricks - Charter Captain
Captain Kerry Audibert - Charter Captain

and many others.....

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