Wicker & Palazzo Support Federal Fisheries Disaster Declaration

Wicker & Palazzo Support Federal Fisheries Disaster Declaration for the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Mississippi’s Coastal Ecosystems Are Being Devastated by Influx of Freshwater After Opening of Bonnet Carré Spillway

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Congressman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., today wrote U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in support of Governor Phil Bryant’s request for a federal fisheries disaster declaration related to the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. The spillway was opened for 43 days earlier this year. It was opened again on May 10, 2019, and remains open.

The influx of additional freshwater into the Mississippi Sound from flooded regions upriver is devastating coastal ecosystems, which will result in losses to the Gulf Coast’s seafood, sport fishing, and tourism industries.

“Given this situation, we agree with Governor Phil Bryant that the Department of Commerce should assist these stressed Mississippi interests,” Wicker and Palazzo wrote. “Declaring a federal fisheries disaster will help negatively impacted ecosystems and coastal communities begin recovery efforts.”

Click here for a PDF copy of the letter, the full text of which is available below:

Local Mayors met with Legislators on the issue yesterday. That's one of many news items discussed on this June 13th edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings":

The head of UPS is supporting a proposal to raise Mississippi's gas tax in order to pay for road repairs. Speaking at the Delta Council's annual meeting last week, CEO David Abney said raising the gas tax would actually save the company money in the long-run. He said for every five minutes UPS drivers are held up, it costs the company an extra 114-million-dollars each year. The gas tax increase is being opposed by Governor Phil Bryant and two of the Republican candidates for governor. The current gas tax matches the federal rate of 18-point-four cents a gallon.

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Mississippi's foster care system could soon be taken over by the federal government. A new report out this week shows the Department of Child Protective Services is still not meeting standards outlined in a court order, fifteen years after the case began. According to the report, the state only met 37 of the 113 standards, and was not complying with 35. A monitor could not say if 31 other standards were met because employees either entered data incorrectly, or the information wasn't available. A spokeswoman for CPS says they weren't surprised by the findings, as they're still working to hire more case workers and overhaul their data system. But the plaintiff in the case is now threatening to seek an independent takeover of the agency to ensure standards are met. 

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After beating North Carolina to advance to the College World Series, Auburn will face off with SEC-rival MississippiState in the late game on Sunday. The Series is played as double-elimination until there are just two teams remaining. Those two will meet in the best of three World Series Final starting June 24th.

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