Parish backs Mississippi dredging petition effort

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

Senator A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, announced Sunday that he is launching a 33-state legislative petition drive calling for dredging of the Mississippi River in an effort to preserve the jobs and economic benefits the state derives from the river.

Seven out of every ten jobs in Louisiana are port related, and the economy of thirty-three states along the Mississippi River and its tributaries (Louisiana included) will remain in jeopardy unless adequate federal funding comes through soon to keep the 25-mile stretch of the Southwest Pass dredged for ocean going vessels, Crowe said in a news release.

 ??Crowe's Senate district covers the first 50 plus miles of the Mississippi River and says that the lack of federal funding to maintain the appropriate water depth will have a major negative ripple affect throughout the central United States, all the way to Canada.?

According to economists, millions of lost revenue will translate in to massive lay-offs and cut-backs in spending and investing.

??Also, Crowe said, it opens the door to escalated insurance costs for ship owners as risk increases having to navigate in shallower waters. When insurance costs go up it's typically passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices. On many occasions, ships have chosen other routes, avoiding the Mississippi River and the higher insurance rates.

"??With the assistance of industry representatives, Crowe expects to reach every legislator in each of the states within the next three weeks.?