Louisiana eager to see marinas reopen

NEW ORLEANS – It’s no surprise that the state of Louisiana is eager to see its recreational marine business return to normal following extensive hurricane damage last year.

The jobs of more than 8,000 people in Louisiana are supported by saltwater recreational fishing, which drives more than $435 million in annual retail sales. The damages to the recreational marine industry created by hurricanes Katrina and Rita are estimated to be as much as $358 million.

The Times-Picayune reported yesterday that about a third of marinas along Louisiana’s coast are still closed, according to a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries report. While 46 marinas have yet to reopen, 27 are partially open and about 80 are fully operational, according to the newspaper article.

Faring the best are the St. Charles, Jefferson, St Tammany and Lafourche parishes in the southeast, while the St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Orleans parish marinas were hardest hit and are taking the longest to recover, according to the newspaper.

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