U.S. Congressman Requests Disaster Assistance for Louisiana Fishermen

April 30, 2010

U.S. Congressman Charlie Melancon of Louisiana has urged federal administrators to direct disaster funding to Louisiana’s commercial and recreational fishermen as a result of the explosion and oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon rig off Louisiana’s coast.

In his letter to the head of NOAA’s Fisheries Service and the Secretary of Commerce, Rep. Melancon noted that the oil intrusion from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster would likely damage the fragile habitats that Louisiana’s fishermen, oystermen, and shrimpers depend on.

In his letter, Melancon wrote that many fisheries and oyster beds in South Louisiana “are slated to open in the coming days and weeks. This hazardous oil intrusion will almost certainly have a detrimental impact on the fragile ecosystems that our seafood industry relies on.”

Congressman Melancon concluded, “Every effort must be made – and made quickly – to restrain the growing environmental and economic disaster off the coast of my state. But following these exhaustive efforts, it is imperative that we quickly enact all appropriate disaster funding for Louisiana’s fisherman, oystermen and shrimpers.”

The Deepwater Horizon platform was located 50 miles off the coast of Venice, La., in the state’s Third Congressional District, which Melancon represents.

In a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Melancon urged the secretaries to evaluate how the containment and clean-up efforts could be accelerated in order to minimize damage to Louisiana’s fragile coastline and fishing grounds.

Source: Office of Congressman Melancon

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