In lieu of the holiday weekend, there’s only one story I want to draw attention to–months after the well was capped, the post-spill economic hardships are still a grim facet of life for many Gulf residents.
Many shrimpers and oyster harvesters are catching and selling only a fraction of previous hauls. Business owners who saw a summer of lost revenue are still struggling to pay their bills, and many had to lay off workers to make it through the slow winter months. The Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana has seen requests for help double. Many are coming from people who had never asked for assistance before. “Even after Katrina, it wasn’t like this,” said Joannie Hughes, who along with Vickie Perrin has fanned out across the region to deliver Christmas dinners and toys to 112 families. Perrin said the economic effect is just starting to ripple through communities, from fishermen to grocery stores and restaurants. “It’s like throwing a pebble into a pond. And we’re only on the first few ripples,” she said.
As you finish up your Christmas festivities on this Boxing day, save a thought for those hard-working American families whose lives have been irrevocably altered by both Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon spill.