Pass Christian Harbor prepared for possible oil spill - - The News for South Mississippi

Pass Christian Harbor prepared for possible oil spill


By Doug Walker – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) – It's a sight that's very familiar at the Pass Christian Harbor these days.  More than 1,600 feet of protective booms have been placed at the entrance to the harbor, just in case the oil spill moves this way.

Mayor Chipper McDermott is satisfied with the effort.  

"We've done all the preparation that we can possibly do," McDermott said Monday.  "Booms are hard to come by, but we got enough to stretch all the way across the harbor, and that's our first line of defense." 

The precautions don't come cheap, and money has been spent. Lots of it. Because there are so many agencies involved in trying to prevent this oil spill from hitting Mississippi's beaches, the big question is, who is paying for what?  

Harbor Master Willie Davis spent the past few days on the phone searching for an answer, but is getting nowhere.  

"We can't get an answer," Davis said. "And I understand that some are concerned that it's not here yet, but if you don't prepare for it, then you're too late. So you've got to do something to prepare. If you could talk to someone who could give you a solid answer, yes we can help you, or no we cannot."  

Gordon Fountain owns a boat docked at the Pass Harbor. He's also frustrated by the events of the past week, but for an entirely different reason. 

"I think it's a bad spill. It's going to cause problems, especially in the Louisiana marsh. But I think the politicians are using it to stop drilling and I think it's more important to drill than it is to worry about this spill," Fountain said.

But harbor officials are paid to worry, and prepare.  And that's exactly what they have been doing.

Commercial fishermen aren't the only ones impacted. The harbor is also closed to recreational fishing until the threat of oil has ended.

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