Voices from the Gulf

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This message comes from Delores Suarez, a citizen advocate working with fishermen on the Gulf Coast. In her message she refers to: Dr. William (Bill)  Walker, Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Mark Stewart, Mississippi fisherman, Richard Gollott, Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources commissioner for the commercial seafood industry, and Linda St. Martin, former Shrimp boat owner working with the Sierra Club.

Crossposted from NRDC Switchboard.

Yesterday, on a stormy, rain-splattered Sunday, fishermen and their families from four Gulf Coast states drove to Captain Anderson’s Marina in Panama City, FL. It was the same day the Panama City News Herald front page featured a huge photo of President Obama swimming happily with his daughter in the nearby Gulf. “Dive in, Mr. President,” the headline screamed.

Like most Gulf state Department heads, Dr. William Walker of the Mississippi Dept of Marine Resources is a virtual "one man gang." Until and unless the eminent Haley Barbour himself calls up to weigh in, Walker answers to no one.

When asked at a recent public forum by US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to tell the audience which exact body or group of people in Mississippi had considered public health and safety in ruling to re-open State waters and beaches impacted by the now-capped BP Oil gusher - Doctor Walker bellowed from the back of the packed room, "I did!"

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