BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has released a new, interactive map that offers more details about contaminated bodies of water in Louisiana.
The map indicates anglers should limit consumption of fish or swimmers might need to stay out of 58 different bodies of water across the state. This does not mean, however, it’s unsafe to fish or swim in all of these bodies of water.
For example, it’s safe for most adults to consume up to two pounds of certain types of fish caught in the Amite River Drainage Basin each month. However, in the Devil’s Swamp in north Baton Rouge, it’s unsafe to swim or eat any fish.
“The details are important,” LDEQ scientist, Al Hindrichs, said Monday. “We felt like getting the details out there in an interactive map was important.”
The map also identifies what types of pollutants can be found in each body of water. LDEQ warns against consumption of fish caught in the Capitol Lakes because of chemicals that are buried in the sediment that can cause cancer.
“It ought to be an embarrassment that, in the shadow of the great State of Louisiana’s capital, the water is polluted,” Katrina hero, Gen. Russel Honore, said Monday at the Baton Rouge Press Club. “That’s a crying shame in the sportsman’s paradise.”
Hindrichs says he hopes the map reminds Louisiana residents to respect the state’s resources, in addition to keeping people safe.
“Past practices by industry have long-term impact,” Hindrichs said, referencing industry standards that allowed for chemical dumping decades ago. “It’s much harder to clean it up than it is to keep it out.”