More than 70 days into our coastal crisis, the battle against the Gulf oil gusher continues on a number of fronts here in Louisiana. We're in a desperate fight to protect our fragile marshes. It is a fight where the winner on any given day is determined by the ebb and flow of the tides.
Most important, though, is the fight to save the livelihoods of oystermen, fishermen, shrimpers and those around them. The Louisiana seafood industry has a nearly $2.5 billion impact on our economy each year. It accounts for 1 out of every 70 jobs in the state.
While there's no denying the industry has taken a big hit in the last couple of months, there is still plenty of good, safe Louisiana seafood to be had. A recent story out of North Carolina showed a man claiming he had been served oysters tainted with oil. The story ran all over the country, no doubt delivering a big blow to the perceived safety of eating gulf oysters. Unfortunately, it wasn't until days later that we found out the substance was mud and not oil.