by Calvin Ishee, Associate Publisher
It’s rare these days to see states that compete for business, sports as well as federal dollars working together however, yesterday that changed for Mississippi and Louisiana.
Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and Louisiana Lt. Governor William Nungesser joined hands to support the conservation of sea turtles as well as to promote their efforts to stop the ravages caused by too much fresh water being released in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Moby Solangi; Director of IMMS, indicated that, “Cooperation between both Mississippi and Louisiana illustrates the importance of working collaboratively to respond to the common challenges both states face due to the Mississippi River diversions into their contiguous waters. These diversions directly affect natural resources, economies, and way of live for both states. We are grateful for their participation and support in addressing these issues.”
Lt Governor Nungesser commented, “The dolphins are the canary in the gold mine, if you kill them, everything else will follow“…and it’s important that Mississippi and Louisiana work together to stop these polluted water diversions into The Gulf. He added that “We’ve shown that pumping ridges and islands lower storm surge in our life time, protects the critical marshes and breeding grounds that are there now and doesn’t destroy our fisheries.”
He then talked about how “we’ve let the politicians and the people making money on this for far too long, ram this down our throats and we’re not gonna take it anymore!” He pointed out that “We’ve got enough money from BP to save the Coast. We don’t need a 50 year plan, we need a 5 year plan”.
After thanking Nungesser and the crowd for coming to today’s event, Lt. Governor Hosemann outlined his efforts towards stopping the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) practice of unnecessarily dumping billions of fresh water into the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Back in July of 2019 he personally met with them to solicit their help with resolving this matter. He then followed up with a letter to Major General Richard Kaiser, Commander of the Mississippi Valley River Commission and President of the Mississippi River Commission, asking them to “conduct an immediate study of the operating manuals and procedures for both the Morganza Floodway and Bonnet Carrie’ Spillway.”
The intent of the study was to determine whether or not changes should be made based on “changes in the Mississippi River’s flow and flooding patterns since the implementation of the operating manuals and procedures.” The letter also asked them to address 16 questions regarding specific concerns expressed on behalf of the citizens of Mississippi.
With little to no acceptable action offered by the USACE, the State of Mississippi filed a lawsuit against the agency, General Todd Semonite, USACE Commanding General and General R.Mark Toy, President-Designee of the Mississippi River Commission.
The lawsuit is currently in litigation.
After addressing the crowd, Lt. Governor Hosemann changed his focus towards releasing the seven rehabilitated sea turtles anxiously awaiting their return to their home in the Gulf of Mexico. Lt Governor Hosemann invited kids to join him with releasing his assigned sea turtle.
The event was attended and enjoyed by at least 50 local residents and dignitaries.
(Photos by Brian Lamar & Calvin Ishee, The Gazebo Gazette)