State Commission of Marine Resources meeting in Biloxi

The State Commission on Marine Resources met this morning and the topic on everyone’s mind was the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

DMR Executive Director Joe Spraggins told those at the meeting how they are working with the state to conduct water tests daily and what they found looks somewhat promising.

Spraggins said they are seeing salinity levels lately of 12-15 which is causing some of the blue-green algae to die. Barry did not take away any of the algae or help with the water salinity.

Spraggins did mention the algae they are seeing in the Sound is a new kind that is less visible than what we have seen in the last month. Once the algae dies, it doesn’t leave the water and leads to a lack of oxygen for fish.

This leads into seafood numbers, oyster harvesting is down 100 percent and shrimp is down 75 percent. “We are looking at it and trying to find a way to make sure that in the future, do we need to open the Morganza more? Are we doing the best that we can do right now? We don’t know the answer and I say we I mean the United States government. They do not know what is happening, but they are trying hard every day.”

Spraggins also mentioned the timeline for clean water doesn’t look promising. They are working with the Corps of Engineers to close the spillway sometime next week, this being a pushed back date due to all the flooding caused by Barry.

After that it will be another seven to 10 days for the fresh water to stop pouring into the Sound. Spraggins says it could be as late as October until we see clear water again.

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