Are Cajuns an endangered species? Watch Rep. Garret Graves try to make the case
Should Cajuns be listed by the federal government as an endangered species? U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, tried to make that case with an amendment in the House Natural Resources Committee, making the point that Washington is largely responsible for Louisiana's coastal erosion yet is stalling permits for the state's $50 billion, 50-year master plan to save the southern third of Louisiana from disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico. Making Cajuns who live there an endangered species, he said, would protect their environment just as plants and animals on the endangered species list get extra help.
The federal government is managing the Mississippi River system in a way that is causing the greatest coastal wetlands loss on the North American continent," Graves told the committee Oct. 4. "This is happening over about the last 80 years. This is some of the most productive habitat on the North American continent. It also happens to be where Cajuns primarily live in south Louisiana.
"If being an endangered species actually affords you additional protection and allows your habitat to be protected and restored, then that's what we want."