It's been anything but smooth sailing for the Louisiana oyster industry recently. Destructive hurricanes in 2005 and 2008 wrecked boats and docks and buried oyster beds under storm-driven mud. The federal government has threatened to limit seasonal sales of its fresh product through pending regulation. And now, of course, a wave of oil unleashed by BP's engineering disaster in the Gulf has brought new peril for the oyster harvest and those who earn their living by it.
New Orleans, LA – New Orleans hotels join a class action lawsuit against BP, Susan Larson Talks with John McGill of the Historic New Orleans Collection, Chris Edmunds of the Louisiana Composers Forum. Story Corps New Orleans with Lynette Bates and her brother.
Henry "Junior" Rodriguez spent his life in St. Bernard Parish, serving 32 years in political office. He became a national figure after Hurricane Katrina as an advocate for restoring not only the communities, but also the coastal areas.
In this conversation recorded March 27, 2010, he speaks with media producer Jared Serigne about the importance of barrier islands to protecting wetlands, and how to stay involved in protecting the coast - even for those not interested in political office.
New Orleans, La. – Mike Voisin of the Gulf Oyster Industry Council says oyster harvesting continues in about 50 percent of the productive areas. He says the state closes areas on short notice for testing, making it difficult for fishermen to plan their harvesting. But he says he's most worried about where a hurricane could push contaminated water.
New Orleans, La. – NOAA says parts of the oil slick are moving into waters off eastern Alabama and the western tip of the Florida panhandle. Some large patches of sheen are moving onto the west Florida shelf and south to Cuba. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says there are also reports of oil hitting island areas off Alabama.
New Orleans, La. – Allen says capping the underwater leak is no longer an option. He says the aim is now to contain the oil offshore until it's transferred to surface vessels. That will need floating equipment that may be evacuated during a hurricane, and oil will then spill freely into the Gulf.
"Nothing is fail safe with hurricane season coming, and there may be a time we may have to disconnect and have to accept the fact there will be oil flowing up there until we redeploy back"