Council praises anti-diversion fishermen

By Jason Browne

The vocal group of Plaquemines commercial fishermen opposing the Mid-Barataria sediment diversion found a sympathetic audience in the Plaquemines Parish Council June 14.

Capt. George Ricks of the Save Louisiana Coalition and Ken Savastano, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist, presented research and studies on river diversions to the council they say the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is unwilling to acknowledge. Both used U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers data and images to recap the negative effects of previous freshwater diversions, whether intentional or accidental, on coastal wetlands. They say the Mid-Barataria diversion would be exponentially worse by turning much more brackish marsh to freshwater, shortening root systems that hold wetlands together, increasing the dead zone in the gulf with pollution and ruining commercial fisheries.

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