Gulf of Mexico
Boris Guerrero (left) and his father Marcos Guerrero prepare a shipment of oysters cage-grown in the waters off Grand Isle. via Houma Courier

LA - CPRA Seeking Recommendations From Oyster Farmers

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will be holding four meetings in the coming months to get the opinions of oyster farmers who lease state lands on the Oyster Lease Acquisition and Compensation Program.

The oyster program, which was established in 2006, compensates oyster lessees when the state needs to use the land for dredging, direct placement of sediment or other activities necessary for construction or maintenance of coastal protection projects.

Bren Haase, executive director of CPRA, said that he wants oyster farmers to help determine the actual worth of oyster leases in a changing habitat.

“This program tries to ensure the viability of the oyster resource if we are directly placing sediment or building a levee that would affect the lease, it will allow us to go out and appraise the fair-market value of the lease to the lease holder so he can reinvest that money into resources elsewhere,” Hasse said.

Haase said the meetings are a way for the CPRA to hear from those most affected by the program and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of it in order to improve it.

The first two meetings are scheduled to be held online and over telephone conferencing on Sept. 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and on Sept. 23 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. The other two sessions will be announced at a later date.

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