Gulf Coast Still Recovering from the Oil Spill

By: Craig Boswell Email
By: Craig Boswell Email

Residents, businesses and the environment are still trying to overcome the effects of the BP Oil Spill.

Kevin Drury has been shrimping for 21 years, now he's finally getting back to the one thing he knows best.

Drury says, "Yesterday was the first time selling a shrimp since March 28th of 2010."

After the April 20th BP oil disaster a third of the Gulf's U.S waters were closed to fishing. It's been mostly reopened now but some parts remain off limits. The economic costs to the industry have soared into the tens of billions.

After borrowing money to repair his boat, Drury says his first catch sold for less but is safe to eat. "If i cant eat if i don't think I'm gonna eat I'm not selling it."

And at one French Quarter restaurant, Louisiana shrimp is the only shrimp.

Steve Pettus, Dickie Brennan Restaurants managing partner, says, "I don't think most people realize that I think that they are still under this assumption that maybe it is damaged or not but what we are getting is pristine our challenge is supply."

Especially oysters; half of the oyster beds in Louisiana were destroyed in the aftermath. Louisiana had produced about 40-percent of the oysters consumed in the U.S

While there are plenty of tourists in the french quarter, the U.S. Travel Association believes the impact of the oil spill on tourism across the entire Gulf Coast region over a three year period could top 23 billion dollars. Even though the fish are biting, many of the charter boat fishing outfits are only doing two thirds of pre-oil spill business.

For Kevin Drury, a fourth generation shrimper, keeping his business a float feels like uncharted waters.

"We got our kids coming up. What is it going to be like for them - nobody knows," says Drury.

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