Today was eventful. We drove down into Plaquamines Parish from Venice to Buras. It is eye-opening to see the residual damage that is still visual all of these years later. Every time I come to Louisiana, I have a new found an appreciation for what the people in this area are and have gone through. From the vehicle that is still stuck in the water in the wetlands, to the homes in various stages of disrepair, to the spoken words from the survivors that ring true after surveying the landscape all over the state. As of today, I have been to all areas of Louisiana and the picture is the same…various stages of damage and/or total destruction still evident in certain areas. The one thing that I have always found that really pulls on my heartstrings is the fact that everyone that I have talked to still has the hope, the fortitude, and the resilience that things will turn around and that this situation will NOT get the best of them!!
NOLA Day #2 contd October 10, 2010
Well, we had a small change of plans tonight…I realized that I really needed to take tonight to finish my homework that is due on the 16th. Yes, I know that the 16th is Saturday but I get back Thursday morning have meetings and class then Friday I have meetings and then I am off to the New York Region Leadership Conference…soooooo if I don’t get it done tonight well…I think I will not get it done. And that is simply not an option!! lol
Thanks to everyone that is following my blog. Earlier I promised to give everyone more information on the wetlands so here it is.
Here are some facts that will show the general population in the United States that the loss of the Barrier Islands and the wetlands this is NOT just a Louisiana problem but a national problem that needs immediate attention!
1. More than one-third of ALL of the seafood in the United States comes from Louisiana…#1 in shrimp, #1 in oysters, #1 in crawfish, #2 in finfish, #2 in crab…approximately 35 to 40 percent of the domestic seafood in our country comes from Louisiana.
2. Louisiana produces one-third of the United States natural gas.
3. One-quarter of all natural gas and crude oil that the United States uses passes through the wetlands in Louisiana.
4. A large percentage of our imported products and coffee pass through the Louisiana ports.
5. Almost all states depend on products that are shipped into the ports of Louisiana for distribution around the United States.
The sad thing is that the problem can be solved and the government has not taken the proper actions to make this happen. Did you know that the Louisiana wetlands are NOT protected or recognized by the government for protection? It is hard to believe that an area that is this valuable to the growth and well being of the United States is not being protected. Case in point, just close your eyes and try to remember how much gas prices shot up immediately after Katrina made landfall and closed down the refineries.
Unfortunately, this year we have the potential to learn just how devastating the long term effects of this continued land loss will have on the Louisiana wetlands and possibly the United States as a whole. With countless millions of gallons of crude floating in the Gulf of Mexico in a year were there isn’t an El Nino in place to help divert the amount of tropical storms and hurricanes, coastal Louisiana may feel the full effect of not having healthy, fully functioning wetlands. With the Barrier Islands in shambles and wetlands that are a skeleton of what they used to be, the first line of defense for keeping the oil from being pushed deeper and further inland could prove to be catastrophic to this area. We are almost five years post-Katrina and there are still families that have not been able to return to their homes for various reasons that we will not get into at this time BUT try to imagine how long it will take to restore Louisiana when the full effect of the oil spill becomes apparent. What will happen to an entire heritage of people? Where will all of the hazardous material go? Will BP live up to their responsibilities? Will our government help? What will happen to the fishing and seafood industry? What will happen to the “Sportsmen’s Paradise?” Will the fine people of Louisiana ever be able to recover? Will the wetlands, bayous, and wildlife ever recover? And the list goes on and on…
And then there are the questions that will affect the United States…What will happen to the price of a gallon gas or natural gas? What will happen to the seafood industry throughout the United States? What will happen to the economy when more people are forced out of their jobs? Does our government have the ability or capability to help everyone that is involved including but not limited to the trickledown effect this will cause? Because we no longer manufacture the majority of products in the United States but import them…What will happen when the average United Stated citizen cannot afford a toaster or blender because the Louisiana ports have closed? And the list goes on and on…