Folks I have more on my plate than time to blog but I could not let the latest report of oil in the marshes of Hancock County pass without commenting. What the Sun Herald calls Jackson Marsh (No doubt related to the nearby Jackson Ridge) is a special place I knew as a kid as Dodson’s pond which was named for a local doctor whose son I attended elementary school with long ago.
Doctor Dodson remains a great man and humanitarian who always took care of the local boys back in the day. I always had permission to duck hunt in that tidal marsh as a teenager including a few times with future mayor Tommy Longo and his siblings. It breaks my heart to see such a wonderful place of biodiversity poisoned by a rogue company which cut corners on safety. I also know that if oil is in “Jackson Marsh” then it is also in “Mayfields” and the marshes across from Bayou Caddy, places I well know from my time living in Hancock County.
This brings us to the last Sun Herald update filed by Donna Melton at the Sun Herald and it is there we stop next (sorry Donna but I need the entire piece so I apologize in advance):
The Jackson Marsh in Waveland doesn’t look good.
Dime to quarter-sized tarballs and an oily sheen can readily be seen in the marsh and is flowing back into the Mississippi Sound as the tide goes out.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was on the scene and said berms should be going up on the north side of Beach Boulevard soon and fencing would be going up along the outfall to prevent further contamination
Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said Jackson Marsh is the “end-all to lot of tributaries that meander in Hancock County.”
Hancock County Emergency Manager Brian Adam said it was a small amount of “tar balls” in the outfall of the marsh, and that workers on Thursday afternoon were cleaning it.
Cleanup crews were not yet on scene as of 2:15 p.m.
“It’s definitely in the grass — you can see it,” said Chris LeGarde of U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor’s staff.
Adam said there was also tar continuing to wash ashore from Nicholson Avenue down to the Silver Slipper casino. The beach in that area has been closed.
Beach Boulevard in Waveland has been reopened, Adam said, but there are still tar balls being cleared so drivers should use caution.
These are tidal marshes and berming them up will kill them besides not solving the larger problem. I appreciate Senator Wicker being on the scene and we are Senator Wicker positive here at Slabbed because we believe the him to be both honest and sincere. The east/south-east wind that brought the oil to the shores of Hancock County are relentless and sand berms will not withstand the tidal forces. Please do not destroy the fragile marshes in order to “save” them. I’ll add there is a virtual army of coastal scientist that stand ready to assist, all they need is the good word and they’ll be here in a flash if called upon. Please utilize their expertise. They have been mighty good to us here at Slabbed since the spill.
As I see these marshes being polluted my anger fades to the memories of the local boys literally feeding themselves using cast nets and the tides to catch shrimp at the various rail road crossing which bisect the marshes in Waveland, Clermont Harbor and Lakeshore. We have lost so much to Katrina and now we are losing nature itself. US Environmental cleanup crews will not be able to handle the disaster that is happening in our marshes. They are simply not equipped.
I’m headed down to the area folks. I’m certain I’ll have more bad news to report when I return.