When it comes to knowing wind, currents and tides, no one knows Louisiana’s coastal marshes better than the men and women who fish those waters. And in Pointe-aux-Chenes, in Terrebonne Parish, local fishers have taken the initiative to be on the front line, defending their fishing grounds from invasive oil.

According to the Houma Courier, natives of Pointe-aux-Chenes, who are largely American Indian, asked BP for the job of laying boom in their home waters. “We came down here primarily to help these local guys protect the land,” Robert McCafferty, a spokesman for BP working at the Pointe-aux-Chenes site told the Houma Courier. “We’ve got miles of boom out there all done by the local guys. These are guys with their own boats who know the land and water and know what needs to be protected.”

While this action makes perfect sense, the larger question is why aren't local fishermen from Florida to Louisiana being hired to protect the coastline they know best?

Frustration caused fishermen to blockade Bayou La Batre in Alabama because they couldn’t get work with BP. “I wish it didn’t come to this, but we can’t get no answers no where.” Wendy Sanders Buchannan told TV 15, an NBC affiliate in Mobile, Ala. “Either the boat is too big, the boat is too little, we don’t need this kind of boat, that kind of boat or we’re not hiring right now. You’re not a member of this organization, or that organization.”

 

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