The Army Corps of Engineers have recommended that the Bonnet Carre Spillway reopen on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
The Bonnet Carre Spillway in Louisiana could reopen for the second time this year. This is the first time ever that the spillway would be open twice in one year. Local fishermen are not happy about this unprecedented possibility. Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United Executive Director Ryan Bradley said, “The impacts on the fishing industry and the seafood industry would be disastrous. We are already dealing with numerous disasters.”
The Army Corps of Engineers is asking for the spillway to open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. This comes after floods have caused major damage in the Midwest, but some people here on the Coast are asking that they seek other options. “About the potential for opening up the Morganza Spillway. That is a separate spillway that would not affect us here in the Mississippi Sound, but apparently to do that it would take an act of Congress for them to open that up before they open the Bonnet Carre Spillway. So we hope we can work with our congressional leaders to help maybe avert this crisis.”
Local experts say the last time the Bonnet Carre Spillway was open it had lasting and significant effects here on the Coast. The spillway was opened on February 27th and closed on April 11th. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies Director Dr. Moby Solangi said, “For the month of April we have had the highest number of both dolphins and turtles die off in the month of April compared to the last five years. That is very significant. We have had 28 dolphins in April and 73 total. We had almost 79 turtles in the entire year and 57 of them being in the month of April.”
It’s not just animals and sea life who experts say are feeling the effects of the spillway, businesses might also suffer. “There will be businesses that go out of business in the seafood industry. Our shrimpers, our oystermen, our crabbers, they cannot sustain without the resources there to harvest and this opening of the spillway will put them out of business.”