Viewpoint: July 7, 2010

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.

We know you're still enjoying our delicious seafood, but now more than ever, we encourage you to spread the word. Let your friends and family around the country know it's safe. Tell them there's more testing being done now to ensure its quality than ever before. Post it on Facebook and tweet it to everyone you know. Louisiana seafood has been here for generations and will be here for generations to come.