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  • Live from the Gulf: Still No Urgency on Protecting the Marshes

    Today, a team of experts from The Heritage Foundation left port at Myrtle Grove, Louisiana to tour marshes, wetlands, estuaries and lakes from Venice to Grand Isle, and spoke with officials leading the cleanup and protection efforts. One message was made extremely clear: The lack of urgency from the federal government remains.

    The Heritage team witnessed workers collecting boom saturated in oil and other boats maintaining and placing new boom. The edges of several marsh patches were visibly stained black and although some areas already showed signs of recovery, had Governor Bobby Jindal’s proposal for building barrier islands been approved from the beginning, the oil would not have even reached these marshes. Though the Sand Berm E-4 has now been authorized by the army core of engineers, Governor Jindal said,”That first month we lost, we could have created 10 miles of land.” The decisions to delay or reject rock jetties, sand berms and other protective measures are inexplicable to local workers and residents, especially when the benefits expand beyond preventing the oil from spreading deeper into the marshes.

    The urgency is necessary because not only will building barrier islands protect the state’s wetlands, but they can also act as a line of defense for hurricanes and bad weather. These projects can prevent longer-term coastal erosion and large patches of marshes from simply disappearing. BP had paid for the rocks for the jetties but they were never used.

    Even if there weren’t an oil spill, Louisiana passed a constitutional amendment to use royalties from offshore oil and gas activities to finance coastal restoration, and a Congressional law is set to increase the percentage of royalties collected by Louisiana’s state government 2017. Of course, with the moratorium in place and drilling rigs leaving to sign multi-year contracts off the coasts of other countries, that revenue could quickly disappear. Lifting the moratorium remains the top priority for those in the Gulf, but the locals’ demands have been largely ignored – a common theme since the rig first exploded April 20th.

    Building the barrier islands can be done in a way to protect the delicacy of the ecosystem in the Gulf. While it is important to understand any significant environmental consequences, the amount of oil released has everyone in crisis mode in the Gulf while President Obama remains asleep at the wheel. Jefferson Parish official Deano Bonano expressed this very sentiment, saying, “”That’s our frustration: that the opposition to the plan is based on what may happen. . . . As opposed to the oil that is happening.”

    As the Heritage team watched oil seep ashore into this fragile environment, it was obvious that the response to this crisis needs to be measured in minutes, not days. Time is running out for a vast region of our nation.

    For more of Heritage’s oil spill coverage ‘Live From the Gulf’, click here. Our team in the Gulf this week:

    Jack Spencer: Policy Director, Energy and Environment, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies
    Nick Loris: Research Assistant, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies
    Rory Cooper: Director of Strategic Communications
    Robert Gordon, Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Live from the Gulf: Still No Urgency on Protecting the Marshes

    1. Tim AZ says:

      I really don't know what you expect from a community agitator. They get things done by creating havoc not by creating and employing solutions. Honestly.

    2. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Obama is NOT "asleep at the wheel".This is deliberate pay-back! Louisiana

      voted overwhelmingly for McCain (against Obama). Gov. Bobby Jindal is a

      serious Republican that has a bright future in national politics. Too many

      of us are fooled into thinking Obama is "asleep at the wheel, inncompetent, inexperienced". This is a serious mistake! Obama is extreamly intelligent, devious, vindictive, and determined to drag this country into socialism. We all had better wake-up to these facts while we still have a chance to save our American way of life.

    3. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      If ever an Administration was needed as an example of one that has purposefully set out to destroy America, the Obama Administration and Congress would be that one.

      Our Constituion was designed to protect our Republic from just such people, and yet even withour Declaration of Independence allowing American Citizens to do so, we all are guilty of doing nothing.

      Remember this November and replace everyone up for election, who does not stand by our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our Declaration of Independence, and is a Progressive, be they Republican or Democrat.

    4. Tom Beene Bossier ci says:

      I say, "Put the call out for private Patriots to help build the sand berms." They could be built before a study and a plan of action against the people building the berms could be completed by Washington.

    5. Pingback: Morning Bell: 100 Days Later, Obama Still Failing the Gulf « Faulk For Congress

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