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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
April 19, 1984     The Ponchatoula Times
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April 19, 1984

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Shell dredger, fisherman differ sharply on dredging effects Dear Mr. Bill Graziano 1 have read with interest your article which appeared in the Ponchatoula Times on December I+ 1983. In addition, i noticed a letter to the editor of the Times+Picayune which appeared December 11. While the two are ,somewhat similar and deal with the same general subject matter, it is apparent that the letter which appeared in the Times-Picayune was heavily altered or edited by news- paper staff members, And this is note- worthy, because, in, your article, you attempted to imply that Jacques Cou- steau himself had given his support to you and that there had been some direct dialogue between you and Mr. Cousteau, As in the past, you have attempted to mislead the public. It is this issue of misrepresentation, mususe of the media and contrivance of certain information which, as al- ways. concerns me. because it goes to the heart of the whole issue where your participation is concerned: trth, fulness and self-respect. .,. If you are truly interested iri "seeking out whatever the causes might be for any degradation of water quality in Lake Pontchartrain and you are pre- pared to base your conclusions on established scientific findings, then you should adopt the principle of truth. As William Shakespeare, and individual more learned than either you or l, once wrote: "This above all, to thine own self be true. and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man. The facts surrounding the issue of shell dredging support the continued existence of the industry, just as the day follows the night. Your arguments have been some- thing less than convincing, and you continue to ignore scientific facts when they disagree with your preconceived conclusions. No one can deny that natural flora and fauna are beneficial to water quality and the general ecology of the Lakes. Borgne--Catherine--Maurepas-- Pontchartrain estuary. Your continued insistence, however, that shell dredging has caused the demise of any vegeta- tion which mau have existed in thi: I want to thank everybody involved in the festival, in booths, the parade and those who attended. I want to thank my board members, officers and especialy Mom Dad &amp; Liz. Steve Pugh ..++.,. iiiii00! iS::: ........... :+:..:.:+,.:,.: ..... :+..:..:....:....:+:.:.:+.:.+:+...........,,.., .............. .................::.:::::::::::::::i::::::::::::::::::::::!:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::!:i:::::i:i:!:!:i::::i:i:::i:::: Tolley & Vitter's Exxon Service i!i!!!! :<.:.! .:.:,:. .,-.%. .... ::::::: -,','z :.:.:.: :i:!:i: i:i:i: iiiiii! FULL SERVICE Tires Qualified Mechanic On Duty 7-5p.m. ii!!!i 2 0 1 W e s t P i n e i:!:i:i: 00i00:iii!000000ii0000ii!ii00ii!00i!0000iii!i00::ii::i00iiiiiii!iiiiii00:i00iiii!i00i::i00i!i::ii!ii!i!!i00iiiiiiiii00iii00i00iiii00ii!!ii!ii!!iiii:.:.ii00i000000i000000!00i00i00i00i00!00!00!00i00i00i000000i00::00i00!00!00i00i00!00i00i.00iiii00!ii00!iiiii00::i00iiiiiii00 THE PONCHATOULA TIMES estuary in the past is completely false. and you-must certainly know that. For almost two decades, shell dredging has been prohibited within one mile of the coastline throughout the estuary, in the shallow where vegetation grows,. And we all know what the cause of that decline has been: urbanization. Society -- and that includes you and me -- has exercised few restraints in daily living, and that is the source of the problem. A variety of modern ills -- not the least of which are proper sewage disposal, or the lack of it; urban and farm run-off: and industrial pollution -- have brought the environment to the position it occupies today, and I know of only a few willing to make the necessary sacrifices to restore the en- vironment to its pristine state. But. how many are willing to pay the price for adequate sewage treatment? How many are willing to park their automobiles and recreational vehicles permanently? How many are willing to sacrifice the economic advantages they have gained over decades of hard work? Those are the facts. No one denies that publicly owned waterbottoms, including this estuary. are the source of economic benefit for the citizens of our state. The production of oil and gas has mad life more livable and comfortable, and the harvesting of our fisheries resources has resulted in an abundance of foodstrffs available to us and our families at reasonable cost. Those are the facts. The record clearly indicates that three out of the past five years have shown record catches of all commercial sea- food species in Louisiana, including catches from the estuary, Commercial fishing licenses in Louisiana have in- creased from approximately 8.000 in 1960 to 300,000 in 1982, while, at the same ,time. boat licenses ir-''sed from 2.100 in 1960 to well oa 60,000 in 1982. " The simple fact is that more fishermen operating more boats are making big- ger catches Louisiana that ever before. l have enclosed published articles which support these facts. I am also enclosing a bibliography of scientific documents written by scien- tists on the subject of shell dredging in various areas of the United States. If you are truly interested in scientific facts, you will make a diligent attempt to examine these conclusions, which are based on scientific fact, and then to move beyond the emotions of the moment, I specifically invite your atten- tion to the conclusions reached by E. A. Joyce in 1975 which appear on Page 4, You continue to imply in your articles and letters that there is some sinister relationship between the corporations engaged in shell dredging in Louisiana and those agencies of government which regulate them. Your implication results solely from the fact that you do not agree with the decisions made by the regulatory agencies. I have been associated for a quarter of a century with a corporation which. among many enterprises, has been involved in the extraction of minerals in louisiana and elswhere, notably dead sea shells from various waterbottoms of Louisiana. I am certain you will agree that throughout our experience I have always welcomed opposing points ot view as a part of the educational process. Fve made a special effort over the years to understand your point of view. even though it has contradicted the facts as I knew them. I am also a native of Louisiana, and all of my children have been born here. Now, a third generation has come along, l would not be a party to any activity, which would leave the state less enjoyable to my offspring than it has been to me throughout my lifetime. On the specific subject of the Cou- steau Society and Mr. Cousteau him- self. please furnish me with the time. place and date of your dialogue with the gentleman. On the subject of honesty with the public and with yourself, l am puzzled why you ,seem to take pleasure in . . The fisherman's view ]25"Color TV Speoal Dear Editor: In the twenty years of gathering to halt the dredging of clam shells in the lake, I have saved each newspaper article and letter written by myself and others. !have compiled a booklet with plastic covers and have filed the articles and letters within its pages. In my articles l ,,rote what l believed was causing the ,,:p in fish catches in both Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchatrain. h was my belief then and still is that permitting the dredging of clam shells in the lakes was disrupting the lakes' ecology..This mining of clam shells is deslroFing the biological or biotic en- vironment of fish. The biotic environ- ment includes many kinds of plants. animals, and organisms. If was when the fish catches in the areas we tlsualI+u fished in began to dwindle, we beqan to search for more productive areas. We criss+crossed the lake beginning on the north end near the Causeway westward, then along the west end over Frenier Beach. then eastward past the inlet to the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Oavous and to the south end of the Causeway. We fished along the Causeway from north to south. We fished aroused the conccrete piers of the power lines that span the west end of the lake In our quest for productive areas we learned what the bottom was like. In the Frenier willed. As it drifted we fished. At this same time, with a heavy lead sinker we took soundings. We knew. what the debth was and what the bottom was like. If the sinker came away with a sticky feeling we knew we were over a mud bottom. If it came away with ease we knew we were over hard bottom. It was then we Anchored and caught a few croakers. It was while fishing as we drifted that we found the grass beds. Our lines would lurk as if a small fish was nibbling on our lines, when we pulled in our lines we found long blades of course green grass on our hooks. It was withing these grass fields that we invariably hooked gaff top catfish, also known as sail cats and sea cats. About 15 years ago I asked the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries explain to the public at a meeting just how the shell dredging operated and what effect if any. it had on marine life. The meeting was held at the Tropic Care in Ham- mend Officials of the Louisiana Wild- life and Fisheries The U.S. Corps of Engineers. The Louisiana Stream C'omnission and a member of a shell dredging company 1 am not positive about the member of the hell dredging company. It has been s> long ago, but I think that was the first time I had met Mr. Edward Lennox, Vice President of the South- APRIL 19. 1984 working toward the destruction i industry which historically gainful employment to made available to the world a natural resource that touches one's life. and attempting to dr: the manner you have chosen: of the media, which was seen valuable by the founding fatherS nation that they wrote into the lion safeguards against its misrepresentation of [act: and tion of data which have no documentation. Instead, | urge you to join campaign to stop further of the estuary about whose are all so concerned. ONLY Tri-Focus Picture Tube Dependable Z-1 Chassis $565 w Electronic Tuning One-Knob VHF and UHF fir Channel Selector Edward N. Attorney at Law P.O. Box 1017 Amite, La. Joseph H. Simpson Please take note of my direct dial number to my Amite office 542-0403 & Alban00 clients Tchefuncte River which we found to be more of less shell bottom up to the shore line. These shells lay" under a very thin layer of sediment. The easiest way to find the Marqees is by counting the power line towers beginning with the one nearest the water. Beginning with that tower count 17 then turn shoreward.Just a short ,lanuary 17. log4 To begin with. l did not talk to Mr. Cousteau. I did talk to a member of his orqanization who stated thht the removal of vegetation was detrimental to marine life and the shell dredging was politically connected. which in my opinion is true+ and that theshelt dredgers donate campaign funds to law makers. So in reading Mr, distance east of Mandeville is a point " Lennox letter l can only assume that I iuttinq out into the lake known as am a bold liar and what I have stated is Green Point were thick blades of dark a figment of my imagination. green grass grow on the bottom+ The nest. just before reaching Lacombe Bayou. is a point known as Goose Point which was first called Ragged Point Here we found hard and sticky botton+ In our quest for richer catches we would head out some distance form shore and let the boat. drift, letting the wind and tide take our boat where it Ican assure you that 1 do not lie and that my findings are based on actual surveying of the lakes" floor. There is no question in my mind that pollution is also invo[v,.,d in the loss of the marine productivity ()f the lakes These lakes should be saved at all co,t- They are cant:erred ith life's fo<)d chain [{ ]', ( +ra/+<'+t. ) :.:-:*: .,.%,. !ii ili!ill MY FAMILY AND I SINCERELY THANK AND APPRECIATE YOUR VOTE iiiii!:: OF CONFIDENCE AND SUPPORT IN SELECTING ME iiii!il TO SERVE AS YOUR COUNCILMAN AGAIN IN DISTRICT 4 .,., I will Continue To Work Hard To Serve You Well ....%% :.:.:,:. ::::::: :i:i::i ......% :+:.:-: a.'.'+' :.:-:.: ...% .,...% ,..%..- iiii:!i ,:K::-: ::::1::: i:i:i$ :!:i:i:i i:i:i:.:: :i:!:i:! i:!:i:! ...0.., !i!iii! ..-...% +:.:,:. +:-:.:.1 .%,.., :.:.:,:. Gideon T. Carter, Sr. i li!!!i ,..,.,., .... ,:. :i: :i: ::::::::::::::::::::: :!:i:i:i:':::;:; ::':':;:; :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::: ,....... ....... . ...... ......:.:.:.,:.:-:-: :. :.:.:-: .: .. :+ ,:.:.:.:...........-.........:...-.: : ...,., ...:.: .'...-....,,-.........-............. ,., .., ...... ,............... +.... ,........:.:. ,,, .............. , ..... , ...... .,.,,, ,%, , ,,,,,,,,,-,,,-,,,,,-, ,,.,,,,,,,,, ,-,,,%,,,,%%%,0%,,,,%,,,,,,,,,,%Oo,,,,,.%+, ,,,.%, .,,,.,,,+,,.,,,,.o,o, ,,.,,, CIIIliliOIII 4[o1" CIIlltttl. ol Till 1141 Ltcemlel CLI emd C+mt,! Ire, e. rt Cete. tsx Ikticee. $11ee, Feedin I il TrmrtlnI Prtl Fedrl! Ileme SerLII FI (/lattcilNce IMW) I|all IIlmm, Sari4 Yvl! (AmC|cilltl |) t'll, |l=telr*t Iteek Certftclttl#  Olmlr kIMiii4 State Jl, l1|l,'#itl| Ply a, Ileimbllemeet, To+l Reeeuo Sll eyles Pvrh01e of hilI. ll<mltl. C+IUlOlilI, I. lllN{rll , Olfi lUipmt, kllies, etc. |IIItll, Iletir/meflt ttbltioe, ere, lhll F.q-i lintel NOTICE TO BIDDERS Sealed bids are =out by the Tanipahoa Peri Slm's lot of . Bid= may be delered to the SherilPs Ofl, Amite or mailed to P.O. Box 727, AndS, La. 70422 marked "April 20 c on the envelope. Bids to be opened April 20 at 10 a.m.  1 Oftk on the following lot: ---One to five autos- mid-=ed, four door sedans, rein w automatic transmimton, air condidoning, power steering, power largest available battery and alternator, extra molng capaci heavy duty suspension, heaviest duty front seat vdailWe, suspension, tted la, floor mats, side moklklL AM rlto, antenna, largest avaiable tires and all dani finery equipment Authority: Shedlf J. Edward Layrisson A5,12,10 For the convenience of my Ponchatoula, Springfield, Bedico, Robert, Hammond _ + Oenera,,nsurance /I II Charlle Branch Jr. E. Pine St. II & Accessories i+i;!+i ern Industries Corp,. a shell dredging n pUar-er's .v"" :!:i:i: Co 1 have met Mr, Lennox at other ;:::::: the bottom is sandy, so is the areas :.:.:-: mePths Now and again I send Mr. :i:!:i: near. The Bonnet Carre Spillway We . + - Hours found the area between South Pass Lennox and others copies of articles ,have written on the subject of shell 00I00P"A --'=ances 5:30 to 7:00 i++ii++++i and the Tchefuncte river more <)r less ili'+i mad+ ++.o. 0+ o. =+o known as the Marqees. which is In ,00a.uary of ,h+s ,'ear I receiveda 3 386-3822 located about five mik.s or so sest of the ] 2 page letter from Mr. Lennox dated 450 W. Pine St.