Commission votes to oppose Louisiana’s water annexation
by MBJ Staff
Published: July 5,2012
GULF OF MEXICO — At a special meeting of the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources (MCMR), the commissioners unanimously passed a resolution opposing Louisiana’s move to extend its state water boundaries Gulf-ward into federal waters.
The approved resolution has been submitted to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.
The resolution states: “The MCMR is opposed to and does not recognize the extension of the gulfward boundary of the State of Louisiana. The action of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission implementing Act No. 336 (which extends the boundary and regulations of the State of Louisiana 10.357 miles into the Gulf of Mexico) is in direct violation of its own legislation. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’ Marine Patrol is directed to continue enforcing federal regulations in the new and extended area described in Act 336 until directed to do otherwise by the Office of Law Enforcement for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The MCMR urges the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office to take whatever actions deemed necessary to ensure that the state of Mississippi and its citizens are not adversely impacted by the unilateral and unlawful action of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.”
Louisiana’s proposed boundary extends into and encroaches upon federal waters adjacent to the Mississippi-Louisiana marine boundary and is a violation of federal law, according to the MCMR. Only Congress or the courts can provide federal waters to a state. Mississippi and Louisiana state waters currently extend three miles out from the barrier islands.
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