Oil spill could change life for Gulf Coast residents - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Oil spill could change life for Gulf Coast residents


By Doug Walker – bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Harold Strong has made his living off the water for decades, fishing the coast from Alabama to Louisiana.  If the oil spill comes ashore in Mississippi, he said he'll have to start looking for another line of work.  

"We'll be out of business, basically, pretty much devastated," Strong said. "I see no recovery. If you lose two to three years, I can see absolutely no way to come back from it."  

On the beachfront road near the new Waveland pier, Marc Douroux Jr. is setting up crab traps, and hauling in a day's catch.  He fishes for pleasure and for a good meal now and then, but said those days could be coming to an end.  

"All the livestock is going to be killed, birds are going to die, crabs are going to die, fish are going to die, there's not going to be nothing to fish for no more." 

Every morning, Heather Filina walks her dogs on the Waveland beach, where the dogs like to fetch and frolic in the water.  This may be her last chance in a long while.  She feels an oil spill striking the coast could not have come at a worse time.  

"I mean, we're just starting to get recovery from Katrina and now this looks like it's going to come in and devastate us all over again." 

Even with protective measures being put in place to try and save the coastline from the toxic oil slick, fisherman Strong feels it won't be enough.  

"Well, I think it's been about as good as they can possibly do.  It's just that it's going to be so large and a continuing situation. How do you contain something that's not containable?" 

And if the worst happens, can the coast come back? Heather Filina has her doubts.  

"They're still trying to recover from the Valdez, so I really don't know how we will recover here." 

Meanwhile, Waveland city officials are meeting every few hours to receive updates on the progress of the spill.  They will continue to do so throughout the weekend.

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