Recovery not over for Plaquemines Parish but moving forward with progress

POSTED: Friday, April 20, 2012 - 2:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 10:19am

There's still plenty of oil to cleanup in Plaquemines Parish on this two year anniversary of the Crisis on the Coast. But Parish President Billy Nungesser says his parish, and the rest of the Louisiana coastline is bouncing back.

Islands and marshes off the Plaquemines parish coast are still covered with oil two years later.

“Bay Jimmy is still, had dead shorelines. Cat Island is just about gone. Everything out there is dead, the pelicans have moved out, they don't have anywhere to nest,” Nungesser told NBC33 News.

But Nungesser says he and the rest of the parish are looking forward and hoping for a record amount of recovery as they go into the third year of this crisis.

“I see us a year from now making great, great inroads,” he said.

In the last two years places like Venice and Grand Isle have seen everything from oil in the water to docked shrimp boats to empty wallets. It's something Nungesser says has been tough to deal with.

“It's a slow road back - it's no where near it needs to be."

And something that will always be in the front of his mind.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Nungesser recalled. “Shrimpers lives were turned upside down in an instant two years ago. Many of them still aren't sure when they're next check will be coming from.

“We still have a long time recovery - a long road ahead of us

Even though progress is slow, Nungesser says his parish and the people hit hardest by the crisis are optimistic, and hopeful they'll see something that resembles "life as usual" sooner rather than later.

“We'll continue to see it get better - less oil coming to the surface - and our fishing industry recover fully.”

Nungesser says a big driver in increasing tourism in south Plaquemines is still being constructed. It's a bypass road that'll put places like Venice just two red lights away from downtown New Orleans. Nungesser says that will play a big part in jumpstarting the economy once again.

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