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Effect of a spillway opening: dead dolphins, oysters and fish

Posted at 1:52 PM, Jun 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-09 14:52:48-04

The Biloxi Sun Herald is reporting that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has requested that the federal government declare a fisheries disaster in Mississippi as mortality rates climb in the Mississippi Sound for dolphins, oysters and other marine life exposed to fresh water from the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway.

“We are currently observing significant adverse impacts to all components of Mississippi’s marine resources, including, but not limited to: oysters, crabs, shrimp and finfish,” the governor told the newspaper.

The spillway has opened an unprecedented two times this year, and most recently has been open since May 10, with no date set for closing. This also is the first time the spillway has opened two years in a row, the newspaper reports.

Bryant said death is particularly noticeable with oysters, which are unable to move. The oyster mortality rate, he said, is 70 percent, a figure that is expected to increase as the spillway remains open, the Sun Herald reports.

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