Secretary of Commerce Approves Disaster Declarations for American Fishing Communities
Today,September 25, 2019, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced his determination that commercial fishery failures occurred for multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina, while further finding that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Louisiana Shrimp Association Statement on Louisiana Fisheries Disaster Declaration September 25, 2019- Today Acy Cooper, President of Louisiana Shrimp Association (LSA) was in Washington attending the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for a hearing titled, "Fishery Failures: Improving the Disaster Declaration and Relief Process.". During this hearing it was announced that U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross approved a federal fishery disaster declaration for Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama due to fresh water intrusion on our coast and the damage that has been done to our coastal fisheries because of it.
LSA would like to thank U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for this declaration, also Louisiana's Governor John Bell Edwards, our Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Montoucet and his staff, LDWL Commission, Washington Delegation and local and State Representatives, Parish Presidents and Mayors and many more that were involved and worked so hard with LSA and other agencies to have this disaster declared.
Many people stood up for our industry in our time of need and for this we are truly grateful
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed HB335 today, June 18, 2019. It becomes a law immediately!
LSA is respectfully asking that Louisiana parish Presidents and Mayors declare a "State of Emergency" for the fisheries
in their areas due to the scheduled opening of the Morgana Spillway which will push approximately 1.5 million cubic-feet-per-second
of rushing freshwater into a fragile ecosystem, we all know what will happen to our already suffering fisheries.
Our seafood industry will be negatively impacted for months and years to come.
Freshwater intrusion into our estuaries is negatively impacting our fishing industry, our harvesters, small businesses and our communities.The Bonne Carre Spillway is now opened and is causing freswater intrusion into our
estuaries. There have been over 90 dolphins found dead from fresh water lesions,dead sea turtles washing up on beaches and some game fish
are also showing up dead with these lesions.
We have been working with the Lt. Governor, state representatives as well as other organizations through out the state on this crucial issue.
We agree with our Lt. Governor Nungesser 100 % when he stated-
"The opening of the Morganza Spillway will cause severe damage to the Atchafalaya Basin, our nation's largest estuary," said Lt. Governor Nungesser. "The opening of the Bonnet Carrie Spillway earlier this year already has negatively impacted seafood in Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne. New fresh water flow into the Basin will further impact the livelihoods of thousands of Gulf fisherman, as well as crawfish and oyster farmers. My office is also asking Congress to include assistance for the seafood industry in any future disaster recovery bills."
We have attached below this letter in original form and also copies of 3 Emergency Delectation's from other parishes as well as the Lt. Governor's press release to Louisiana Governor John Belle Edwards.
Your help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.