Gulf Oil Spill One Year Later

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 9:32am

A year after the tragic explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, how are residents coping?

It's been a full year since the fire and explosion that killed 11 crewmen on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Shelley Anderson, the wife of one of the victims said, "I just do what I can one day at a time I don't normally plan past a week or two. We just keep moving forward as best we can."

For 365-days, this region, these people…have been fighting the effects of the oil in a battle that is still far from over.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said, "We've got isolated areas where there is still oil washing up from the bottom. Bay Jimmy, Pass a Loutre, Elmers Island, Grand Isle."

Sixty-six miles of Gulf coastline are still either moderately or severely oiled.

A thousand square miles of fishing waters remain closed and the loss in tourism revenues is expected to reach 22-billion dollars by next year.

"It's gonna be a battle to get the fishermen back…to get the people back eating the seafood and that is going to take a concentrated effort,” said Nungesser.

There are signs of progress. Fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen are back in the water.

The charter business is slowly building as well.

"The fishing has never been better…the seafood's great," said Nungesser.

But for many, a year later, it's still a struggle to keep their heads above the water financially.

Oysterman Mitch Jurisich said, “If we can get back to thirty percent of what we normally we'll be, I know it's crazy to say this, somewhat satisfied because at least we'll be able to do something to pay the bills."

If one thing is clear now, it's that getting back to that normal is going to take a lot longer than a year.

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