Posted: Jul 9, 2010 12:36 PM by Veronica White
Updated: Jul 9, 2010 6:07 PM
The largest swamp in the nation-the Atchafalaya Basin- is getting 3.6 million dollars for protection and enhancement.
The Governor is offering the money to help the Basin by protecting the valuable waters in a time when oil is taking over the Gulf.
"Now we not only pray for hurricanes to stay away, we pray to keep the oil away," says Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette.
The money is being offered as part of House Bill 2, which outlines the budget for this year. Governor Bobby Jindal signed it this week.
Sherbin Collette says the Basin has been hit hard over the past few years by disasters and lack of protection from pollution.
It is home to fish and wildlife, and a large source of revenue for south Louisiana-but it does not just affect Acadiana-the seafood and tourism that come from there affect the whole nation.
"We want everybody to use it-the Basin is not just for fisherman, the Basin is for everybody; if we don't do something today it won't be there," says Collette.
Surrounding businesses like Pat's restaurant say they want to see these waters protected.
"The tourists come down to visit the Basin, we also get a lot of our seafood from there- crawfish, alligator, frogs... it affects our business in a tremendous way," says Jude Huval, the executive chef.
The Mayor and the Louisiana Crawfish Association are starting to make plans to use the money, and they believe the Governor will work it out with them.