Op/Ed: Oysters shouldn't grow in sewage


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Op/Ed: Oysters shouldn't grow in sewage

The recent incident of  illegal oyster harvesting  in Terrebonne Parish highlights a critical issue plaguing Louisiana's coastline: pollution upstream. While the swift response of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents is commendable, there was a missed opportunity to address why our waters are contaminated with sewage.
Human sewage in our waters is common. Most of the year, large swathes of our coastline are closed due to human fecal contamination. Bluntly, we are literally swimming in sewage. The delicious oysters we love to eat are growing in sewage. We deserve better and so does our coastline.

As the executive director of the Ocean Sewage Alliance, I am deeply concerned about the impact of sewage and wastewater pollution on our coastal ecosystems and public health. Outdated infrastructure, poorly maintained on-site wastewater management systems, heavy rainfall (which is often a daily occurrence) and runoff from the Mississippi River exacerbate this problem. Sewage pollution threatens public health, local fishing, oyster and shrimping economies and devastates delicate marine ecosystems. Our Gulf is already in dire, dead-zone conditions.
To tackle this issue, we need an urgent, multifaceted approach. Upstream improvements to sewage and wastewater infrastructure can yield downstream benefits for public health, marine ecosystems and the economy. Stricter regulations to ensure higher quality standards for waters entering Louisiana are essential. Additionally, investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure is crucial to filter pollutants before they exit local waterways into the ocean.

Let's envision a Gulf Coast free of sewage pollution. To do so we must address the giant turd in the room: Where sewage and wastewater are coming from and what we can do to prevent it. By taking proactive steps to prevent pollution and promote environmental stewardship, we can ensure a healthier future for our coastal communities and ecosystems.

executive director, Ocean Sewage Alliance
Published article: www.nola.com/opinions/letters-oysters-sh...cb-d7226813ee96.html
The following user(s) like this post: Carol McCreary, Chaiwe

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