Je me souviens
Though this phrase is best known for being Quebec's motto, the Acadian people in Canada and Louisiana are connected by more than language.
On this anniversary of the worst oil spill in our country's history, I hope our northern neighbors will lend us the French "I remember" to honor their distant relatives in the bayous of the Gulf of Mexico.
Today we celebrate the first Earth Day since the Deepwater Horizon well began spouting oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
While it hardly feels like a day for cheer, there are some things for which we can say grace. Yesterday marked the first time NOAA reopened all the fishing grounds that closed after the spill began. The seafood that is coming out of the region is clean and thoroughly tested. In fact, I'd wager it's the best money can buy right now. Even better, many fishermen are back to fishing after a full summer of running booms.
But the few bright spots do not justify the Obama administration's declaration of "mission accomplished" on the Gulf Coast.
We still have a ways to go before we have an inkling of the long-term effects the oil and dispersants have had on the marine ecosystem. The damage to vital tourism in this part of the country is painfully clear.
April 20 may be our national day to remember, but the people we are keeping close in our thoughts today have been coping with the disaster for 365 days with no end in sight.
Honor them with an oyster, a snapper, a shrimp on your plate.
Thank you for your time.
Editor in chief, National Fisherman