SAINT BERNARD, LA — Saint Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis announced on Tuesday that he and a delegation will travel to Washington, DC, next week to hopefully get help for workers in the parish’s seafood industry.
McInnis says that Saint Bernard Parish is at ground zero when it comes to the impact from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
The Corps of Engineers has opened the spillway twice this year, a first in its history, to relieve high water levels on the Mississippi River. This is the second year in a row that the spillway has been opened, also a first.
Fresh water from the river is now flowing through Lake Pontchartrain and into Saint Bernard Parish causing algae blooms in the brackish waters where Saint Bernard fishermen make their livelihood.
“Marine life is dying at record levels,” McInnis says. “Shrimp, oyster, crab and fin fish harvests are experiencing epic declines.”
McInnis hopes to secure millions of dollars in Washington to help seafood workers. He says that the damage from the lengthy diversion could last for years.
McInnis says the parish’s congressional delegation supports his effort to win federal assistance. He and other parish leaders plan to join the DC delegation to meet with members of the Trump Administration, perhaps the president himself.