STATE CREATES OYSTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE
BATON ROUGE, La - Today Garret Graves, Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and chief coastal advisor to Governor Bobby Jindal, announced the creation of the Governor's Oyster Advisory Committee.
The committee will be tasked with ensuring that the oyster industry is fairly represented and adequately compensated for the devastation that occurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. "The oyster industry was severely impacted by the spill, and it is crucial for the state to look at how we can provide assistance and aide in preserving such an important industry to our state." Graves said.
One of the goals of the committee will be to devise and develop recommendations that will allow for Louisiana's coast to be restored and protected while defending the interests of the Louisiana oyster industry. "We feel it is critical to move forward with restoring and protecting coastal Louisiana, but we must also consider how our efforts impact industries in the coastal zone of the state." Graves said. The gulf coast produces 70 % of the oysters harvested in the U.S, and of that Louisiana produces more oysters than the other Gulf States combined. In 2009 Louisiana oystermen harvested in excess of $34 million worth of oysters.
Representation on the committee will include representatives from the oyster industry, the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as well as representation from maritime, oil and gas, and landowners. House and Senate Natural Resources Committee chairmen Senator Nick Gautreaux and Representative Gordon Dove will also serve.
The committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, October 6th in New Orleans.
Membership of the Committee
Mike Voisin- Oyster Processor in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, Iberia, & Vermilion Parishes
Al Sunseri- Oyster Processor
Peter Vujnovich- Oyster farmer in Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes
Shane Bagala- Oyster farmer in Terrebonne, St. Mary, & Vermilion Parishes
Brad Robins- Oyster farmer in Plaquemines & St. Bernard Parishes
Mitchell Jurisich- Oyster Farmer in Jefferson, Terrebonne, & St. Bernard Parishes
Kenny Fox- Oyster farm in Plaquemines & St. Bernard Parishes
Don Briggs- Oil & Gas Association
Channing Hayden- Port of Lake Charles (Representing Maritime & Navigation)
Will Rudolf- Biloxi Marsh Land Corporation (Representing Landowners)
Jerome Zeringue- OCPR
Ted Falgout- Oil & Gas/Energy
Sec. Robert Barham- DWLF
Rep. Gordon Dove
Senator Nick Gautreaux