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Vitter and Nungesser urge BP to hurry coastal restoration

POSTED: Monday, April 18, 2011 - 7:15pm

UPDATED: Monday, April 18, 2011 - 7:16pm

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser says now the economy is tanking, and Senator David Vitter says just evaluating the damage the Crisis on the Coast has caused could take ten years.

“One problem is that we need to start some of this important environmental mitigation now,” states Vitter, who’s hoping the Natural Resources Restoration act will cut through some red tape and get crews working on restoring the Gulf Coast.

Nungesser, however, is downright mad at BP officials. “Still today, one year later, I can't tell you who's in charge of this,” says Nungesser.

He feels he's watching his parish die, as oil kills the marsh, and land erodes away.

Nungesser says the boom that came in wasn't the right kind; he wanted ocean boom - a stronger boom that could handle ocean currents and waves.

“We never got the first order. And that's criminal. It would have helped and now stabilizing the bank,” states the parish president.

He says it's BP's fault, and if they aren't going to take responsibility, someone needs to force them to.

“We need to hold their feet to the fire,” says Nungesser. “To make our fishermen whole, to make sure the marsh is cleaned up. Whoever's making the decisions - he's not down there on the coast. He hasn't looked the people in the eyes. He doesn't see what we see.”

Nungesser's also mad at the Coast Guard, who put a ban on cameras along the coast within the weeks after the spill.

Nungesser says he's tired of pointing fingers, tired of the blame game, and tired of people skirting their responsibilities. He's ready for real coastal restoration work to begin.

A copy of the letter Senator Vitter is sending to BP can be found here.

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