BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Ten-trillion gallons. That’s how much freshwater is estimated to have flowed into the Mississippi Sound as a result of the Bonnet Carre Spillway being opened this summer.
Those details were released at Tuesday morning’s Commission on Marine Resources (CMR) meeting.
“We’ve lost a lot of the shrimp. We’ve lost a lot of the crabs. We’ve lost almost all of the oysters,” said Joe Spraggins, Mississippi Dept. of Marine resources director. “Our aquaculture has taken a big beating. We’re still seeing an algae bloom... I’m not trying to be doom and gloom. I’d love to open it tomorrow, but that’s a DEQ call, not mine.”
That’s not the news anyone wanted to hear, but it’s the reality concerning the continuing effects from the harmful algae bloom (HAB) in the Mississippi Sound.
“If you think of the person doing their business out there that has a jet ski or whatever, it may take them two or three years to get their clientele back,” Spraggins added. “We’ve got to build the confidence back to the people of the United States to come back to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
The next step in that process comes this week when Spraggins and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann meet with the Mississippi River Commission about lessons learned from the spillway opening.
“We’re not just looking at this year. We’re looking at other years,” Spraggins said. “What has really happened in the last few years because this spillway has opened in 2016, 2018 and twice in 2019.”