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Jody Meche of LA Crawfish Producers' Association West
by scott eustis Friday, Oct. 05, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Jody Meche of LA Crawfish Producers' Association West speaks on the life and the death by neglect of the Atchafalaya Basin

audio: MP3 at 4.5 mebibytes

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Jody Meche, in a speech to the New Orleans District Army Corps of Engineers personnel including Colonel Fleming, tells of the joys of life on the Atchafalaya Basin and his work as a hunter and fisher on the Basin's waters.

The Swamp Forest, one of the largest in the nation, has long been under threat by oil and gas extraction, logging, and recreational hunting interests. Jody points out that the ability of the Swamp to flood and drain is what makes it one of the most life-producing places on the Planet Earth. It is this ability to flood and drain that oil and gas, logging, and hunting interests interrupt as they build roads into the basin that dam the shallow bayous.

Although the Army Corps of Engineers is charged by Congress to regulate wetlands destruction, the New Orleans District of the Army Corps lacks a boat to run independent enforcement agents to observe illegal road and dam sites.

Corps lawyers have blocked attempts by Basin advocates to supply boat trips to Corps enforcement employees.

Corps agents have consistently refused to use their enforcement power against the large landholding interests, who seek to drain the swamp and increase their land claims thereby. Such a course is detrimental to fishermen like Jody who float upon the shallow waters, many of which are now dammed with illegal roads.

Jody speaks to the benefits of the area, his hopes for his daughter, and the need for proper protection of the Basin as a global treasure.

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