Bonnet Carre Spillway officially closed

After 123 days of being open, the Bonnet Carre Spillway has officially closed. The spillway officially closed on Saturday after being open for a record 79 days straight.

While it has finally closed, what are the lasting effects?

In a tweet early Monday morning, the Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Saturday’s closing of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. IMMS President Dr. Moby Solangi said, “It’s a very good first step. I’m glad that after 79 continuous days that this is closing for the second time.”

The spillway in Louisiana first opened this year on February 27th, remaining open until April 11th. The spillway opened once more on May 10th, staying open until this past Saturday, July 27th. “Between the two openings this year, we have over 100 days of continuous supply of river water. I think it has caused a devastating effect to our ecology.”

While it is good to see a closure, this blow to the Coast’s ecology can be expected to be felt for some time. “It’s going to take time for recovery. I think the most important part is not the parameters going back to normal, the salinity, the temperature, the dissolve oxygen, but how long will it take the animals to recover? The shrimp and the fish and the oysters? That could take few years.”

A few years may seem like a long time, but Dr. Solangi is continuing to stress the seriousness of what happened, calling it an ‘aquatic hurricane on our Sound.’

Worst of all is the continued spillway openings could permanently put Mississippi’s seafood industry at a stalemate. “These animals take time to reproduce and grow. We can’t really accelerate that. They’re going to take their time. Oysters take two to three years to grow so even if we start today, it’s going to take two to three years for the harvest and that’s if nothing else happens.”

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