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Graves Statement on Opening of Bonnet Carre Spillway

April 3, 2020
Press Release
“…first time in the structure’s 89 year history that it’s been opened 3 years in a row…”

BATON ROUGE, LA  – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) released the following statement regarding the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway:

“This is the first time in the Bonnet Carre’s 89-year history that the structure has had to be opened three years in a row. Every year, 30 states and 2 Canadian provinces thaw out and drain into the Mississippi River system and all that water funnels down and becomes Louisiana’s problem. The opening of the spillway causes major disruption to critical sectors of our state’s economy and to many of our citizens – our seafood industry is still suffering from the impacts of last year’s prolonged opening.

“These historic and increasingly frequent high water challenges prove that that the Mississippi River system is changing – the Corps’ management of the river needs to change too. Failure to adapt our water management strategies in response to the changes we’re seeing exacerbates the threat to Louisiana, the region and ultimately the country as a whole.”

Yesterday, Graves sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – a follow-up to the letter sent on February 27th – once again urging Sec. Ross to allocate the remaining $100 million available in fisheries disaster assistance from Hurricane Michael to Louisiana. That money would help Louisiana’s commercial seafood industry recover from the impacts of last year’s opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.