This past week a conservation group, American Rivers, gave the Pascagoula River the dubious honor of being on the nation's list of endangered rivers. American Rivers did so because of the federal goverment's plan to pump millions of gallons of water out of the Pascagoula River to create a salt dome to store oil for national emergencies.
We all would agree of the need to have an adequate supply of oil in storage in case of a national emergency, but surely there is a better place to store the oil than what the government is currently proposing. The plan would take 50 million gallons of water a day out of the Pascagoula River for up to five years. That would create a giant cavern at the Richton Salt Dome to store oil.
In the past few years the Pascagoula River has received rave reviews as a great ecotourism spot for locals and out of towners. If you have ever taken a boat trip on the Pascagoula, you know what a treasure we have in our own back yard. Then there is the question of what impact the brine pumped out of the salt dome and into the Gulf will have on our very important fishing and shrimping industries.
It seems to us that the residents of South Mississippi have more to lose than to gain from the creation of this storage facility. We are the current stewards of our natural resources, including the Pascagoula River. Hopefully we will pass these resources along to the next generation better than we found them.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV Station Manager