“If you don't love life you can't enjoy an oyster; there is a shock of freshness to it and intimations of the ages of man, some piercing intuition of the sea and all its weeds and breezes. [They] shiver you for a split second.” - Eleanor Clark
The benefits of eating oysters are well-known. For example, the National Heart and Lung Institute suggest oysters as an ideal food for inclusion in low-cholesterol diets. Oysters are an excellent source of vitamins A, B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), C (ascorbic acid) and D (calciferol). Four or five medium size oysters supply the recommended daily allowance of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus.
As reported here, Governor Bobby Jindal's administration ordered the opening of massive valves on the Mississippi River, flooding some of the nation's most prolific oyster fisheries with fresh water, killing off up to 80% of the oysters ion some beds.
While oysters can withstand large variations in temperature, oxygen levels and even salinity, for short periods of time, they apparently can't tolerate the uniformed actions of a governor who has been quick to criticize every step taken by the federal government over the course of the past few months. Imagine if the Obama administration had ordered the valve openings, Jindal would be screaming bloody oysterocide.
Jindals other big plan to construct 128 miles of sand berms has been almost as successful as his oyster kill plan. What is it that makes this man-size wunderkind think that this is the time for rash decisions, rather than studied, measured actions? Oh yes, political opportunism. A little more leadership like this might just complete the total destruction of our coast and fisheries.