Heron Bay protecting it's waters - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Heron Bay protecting it's waters

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Heron Bay is a community rich in natural beauty, bayous, estuaries and marshland as far as you can see.

Heron Bay Resident James Gaude said, "So far, no oil sighted in here yet; thank God!"

James Gaude lives in Heron Bay. He also works at the only real business in the community, La Frances Bait shop.

Gaude said, "Business has really dropped off."

He said with most Mississippi waters closed to fishing, the demand for live bait just isn't there, so he and the owner are using their down time to spruce up the business.

"We still can't get out front to get bait cause Mississippi waters are still closed," said Gaude.

He said although oil has not come ashore in the water front community, he and others fear it's just a matter of time.

"I'm afraid sooner or later we're going to get it, but [I] just pray for the best," Gaude said.

County leaders say a lot has been done to prevent that from happening.

Director of Hancock County EOC Brian Adam said, "They've had two different boom plans. You have the magnolia project boom plan that's just been completed; I think early last week. And before that U.S. environmental was putting out boom all down the shoreline from Bayou Caddy down to Heron Bay, Heron Bay Point and past that."

Adam said so far BP contract crews have placed more than 50,000 feet of boom around the community and miles of an oil absorbent protective fence around the sensitive marshes in the area.

Brent Warr is with Coastal Response.

"Between six to nine miles are up right now," Warr said.

Adam said, "So that's going to be another layer of protection. So right now, we've got probably about two or three layers of protection out there."

But will it be enough?

"I don't think there's ever enough protection," Adam said.

Residents like James Gaude are keeping their fingers crossed that it will be enough.

Heron Bay residents said in addition to the protection measures being put in place, they'd like to see skimming boats and equipment staged in the area in the event that oil comes their way.

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