Save La Coalition rallies against major river diversionsSep 16th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: News
The Save Louisiana Coalition held a meeting last week to inform residents and business owners about the potential threat that the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s (CPRA) Master Plan poses to the community.
The SLC made clear that, in their opinion, this plan as a whole is not the problem; it is just the proposed river diversions that they, along with the Parish government and many residents, are adamantly opposed to.
“There are a lot of great projects in this plan,” said SLC President, Captain George Ricks. “But this plan is certainly flawed. And the major flaw is the proposed diversions.”
CPRA plans on constructing several large-scale river diversions that are supposed to pick up sediment from the bottom of the river and carry it downstream the mouth of the river. CPRA has said that it will be running these diversions when the river is at its highest level, which will cause a problem for fisheries.
“The river is highest during the peak spawning season,” said Ricks. “If they let these diversions flow during this time, juvenile shrimp and fish won’t be able to make it into the estuaries, so they will not survive. We will be losing our fisheries if these diversions are built.”
Parish President Dave Peralta also spoke at the meeting, and expressed his disapproval of CPRA’s diversion plan.
“The Parish does not support this plan,” said Peralta. “This is not just an issue for fisherman and the fishing industry, it affects the entire economy of the Parish. A large portion of the Parish depends on revenues brought in by the fishing community.”
Businesses such as ice vendors, gas stations, convenience stores, and bait shops will all suffer a loss if the fishing industry goes under.
“There is no way that my ice business will be able to survive without the fishing industry,” said Kerri Callais Lubrano of Callais Ice who also serves as Treasurer for the SLC.
President Peralta also thanked the SLC for the work they have been doing to try and bring this problem to the forefront.
“No one really knew about this till the Coalition brought it up,” said Peralta. “Because of what the Coalition and everyone else is doing, Congress is starting to recognize us. Before all of this, no one over there wanted to talk to us. We have to get the focus away from this being just about the fishermen— it has to be about the businesses too. We have to show people how critical this situation is. Don’t let this effort die!”
SLC’s October Event
The SLC is inviting residents and proponents of saving the coast to join them on October 5 for the “Battle for the Bayou Bash” which will be held at the Civic Center from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be live music, plenty of local food, and a contest/auction.
The contest, submissions are due by September 30, consists of contestants decorating shrimp boots in a way that depicts how the fishing industry is important to our area. The boots will then be auctioned off at the end of the night. The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Patois Restaurant and will be recognized at the event.
For more information on SLC or to sign up for a boot please contact Kerri Lubrano at 504.416.9853. or send an email to TheSaveLouisianaCoalition@ gmail.com. You can also visit SLC’s website at thesavelouisianacoalition.com.