Louisiana Hasn’t Approved an Oyster Lease in 19 Years; That’s About to Change

It’s been 19 years since Louisiana, stung by a $1 billion court judgment, last opened its water bottoms for new oyster leases. But the state is now lifting its moratorium, raising hopes among oyster harvesters who have endured a series of setbacks from Mother Nature as well as the BP oil disaster.

Some of their never-considered lease applications date back to 1998.

“This is a big deal, a momentous occasion to be getting back into leasing water bottoms again,” said Marc Maniscalco, oyster lease program manager for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

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