For Louisiana oysterman Tony Tesvich the last few years have been all about water, water, and more water. Too much, too little, poor quality, high salinity, low salinity, nitrogen, phosphates and hypoxia; over the past two years his oysters have been flooded with a host of water issues and that is why he will be attending the 2020 Fisheries Forward Summit.
The Summit being held at Kenner’s Pontchartrain Center on March 11th will feature a presentation by Brian Lezina, Division Chief of Planning and Research at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CRPA). The Louisiana agency is charged with developing and implementing efforts of a comprehensive coastal protection for the state. The agency works closely with Natural Resources, Wildlife and Fisheries, Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Economic Development Departments, as well as the Governor’s office.
“For oystermen harvesting wild and farm raised oysters, Louisiana’s water quality is the important issue,” said Tesvich, proprietor of Tony Tesvich Oysters in Empire. “We can grow oysters on the reef, we can grow oysters in cages, but without good water quality all of that is moot. Nitrogen and phosphates flowing down the Mississippi from upper tributaries contain large amounts of fertilizers used for agriculture and lawns. It has caused hypoxia in the water, especially after low salinity.”
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