We love our Marine Industry; now, national lawmakers need to do the same

Our local economy has seen better days.

You guys don’t need us to tell you that.

You’ve lived it and experienced it with us over the past few years — one of the more prolonged funks we’ve seen in the past 50 years.

But people in important positions are telling us that there are real signs that a turnaround is near.

We’re not surprised. Our local oil and gas industry is strong and the people within it are resilient. We’ve been down before. But rest assured, we always come back and find our way through to the other side.

Attached inside this week’s edition of The Times is our Bayou Business Monthly. In it, are several stories detailing happenings in the local marine industry.

In recent years, finding positive topics for this issue was a bit stuff, because the industry was struggling and gasping for air.

But this year, our sources were more than willing to share what they believe is a changing of the guard and a new energy within the marine industry.

And that’s been a welcome sight for us after so many months of struggles.

In BBM, you will read about the wonderful things happening at Port Fourchon. Heck, some of that progress is even detailed in this edition of The Times on our cover. Business at the port has remained steady — as steady as can be through the downturn. And we applaud the port for doing everything possible to help stay afloat — from lowering rental rates to diversifying services and other things to fight this battle.

We also talk about the Port of Terrebonne and some of the efforts the port has made to try and dredge the Houma Navigational Canal so that larger ships will be able to get to our port, which, of course, means big business.

The Terrebonne Port has also fought valiantly through the downturn and Port Director David Rabalais said he believes the port is setup for the future.

And, of course, we chronicle the exciting news of new endeavors and detail the story of Melaco Sisters, who set up shop earlier this year and who are eager to try and help service the marine industry from head to toe, while also aiming to satisfy the needs of locals who live in our area.

The work is tireless, but the progress is remarkable given the climate and the circumstances of the past several years.

We applaud our marine industry for fighting forward and remaining a huge part of why Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes are a great place to live and raise a family.

Now, all we need is for the rest of the nation to value our community and its impact on the country the same ways that we do.

For our future to be as bright as it can be, we will need federal funding for a lot of the projects that are currently on the books.

That funding has sometimes been scarce because lawmakers in other areas have their own projects for their own areas and, sometimes, we get a little bit lost in the shuffle.

Let your voice be heard.

Contact our political delegation and express to them that you want to see our area prosper. It may feel like such a small, insignificant thing to do, but those letters, calls and emails do go a long way in helping our local leaders show other national leaders that this little, speck of sand on the map is a speck of sand worth saving and worth investing in.

We know our worth, but our efforts are not enough.

We support our local marine industry, but now, we need others to support it the same ways that we do.

Our future is important to us, obviously.

But it’s also important to the futures of others around the country, too.

And it’s time we work hard to secure that future and try and make it the best that we can be. •