Though the economic and scientific aspects of the Gulf Oil Disaster are subject to multiple, ongoing studies by governement and independent entities, the cultural impacts of the Disaster have received far less funding and attention, not to mention, coordination. But I learned that the Southern Food and Beverage Museum is determined to change that.
Mississippi’s fishing and coastal tourist industries aren’t the only ones feeling the economic pinch of last year’s Oil Disaster. As money stops flowing into the businesses most directly impacted by the spill, economic hardship filters into some unexpected places.
The economy of Southeast Louisiana was rattled by last year’s oil disaster, and it’s not just the fishing and oil industries feeling the economic pinch. It turns out that how New Orleanians spend -- or don’t spend -- their money in and out of the city has a big effect on the regional economy.
This is the second in a series of stories about the Shell Beach fishing community in St. Bernard Parish, airing on World Vision Report.
On a wet winter day over nine months after the Macondo Well exploded, I checked in with the folks in Shell Beach, Louisiana, located just off the former Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, not far from Lake Borgne. While cracking pecans around a heater, the residents of Shell Beach told me that as the months pass, they have few answers, only more questions.
It’s been a year since BP’s Macondo Well blew up off the coast of Louisiana, spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico and altering the lives, economies, and cultures of communities all along the Gulf Coast. Over the course of the year, Eve Abrams has been visiting the folks in Shell Beach, Louisiana. She recently checked in to see how things are going in this fishing community leveled by Katrina, but perhaps hurt harder one year ago.
Though I know I love eating oysters --fried, raw, nuzzling up to spinach and artichokes-- I had no idea how they reproduce. I got a lesson in oyster biology from Brad and Don Robin at the Yscloskey marina, in Saint Bernard Parish, and I found out the extent to which mollusks are still suffering from the oil disaster and why I won't be eating many of them, any time soon.
In the months since British Petroleum’s Macondo oil well exploded, Louisiana’s coastal ecosystems and the industries which rely on them were devastated. Job losses from the disaster have rippled far and wide – extending to a group of former employees of P & J Oyster House -- all Vietnamese women, and friends, living in New Orleans East.
Nine moths after BP’s Macondo Well exploded and oil began gushing into Louisiana’s fishing waters, businesses who survive on selling local seafood are still adjusting. I learned that less money and more questions are just part of what local seafood purveyors are having to contend with.
Oil from last year’s BP spill didn't actually stain Mississippi's mainland shores, but nearly a year later, the perception of it covering the state's beaches and animals is still impacting businesses along the Mississippi coast. Following a season of cancelled vacations and diminishing reservations, coastal businesses are still fighting a battle to change would-be tourists' perceptions.