Video: Water quality advocates 'Flood Into Baton Rouge' _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Beca Greaney, left, and Anna Dvorak, both of New Orleans, carry a banner reading 'Healthy Water Over Profit,' as they near the Governor's Mansion on a short walk where supporters of better water for Louisiana joined a few walkers who traveled over 150 miles from Grand Isle to Baton Rouge, gathering in a lots across from the Governor's Mansion Saturday. The group, from numerous grass roots organizations, hoped that the 'Flood Into Baton Rouge' rally would persuade Governor Bobby Jindal to 'confront the myriad of pressing environmental issues plaguing so many communities around Louisiana. ' Some participants brought 'troubled' water'- - from the Gulf, Abita Springs, Bayou Corne, and other locations-- to pour out symbolically on the grass next to the sidewalk that runs in front of the Governor's Mansion. About 75 people attended the rally.

Marchers finishing an eight-day, 155-mile walk from Grand Isle to the Governor’s Mansion entered the city at dusk Friday, and gathered at the Mansion on Saturday morning for ‘Flood Into Baton Rouge,’ a noon event focused on water quality issues across the state.

A group of six marchers crossed the Mississippi River via the Plaquemine Ferry on Friday afternoon, carrying water taken from the Gulf of Mexico from near Grand Isle, an area affected by coastal erosion and water quality issues. The water was carried up La. 1, joining other ‘troubled waters’ brought by residents from other parts of Louisiana for the rally. Marchers and attendees shared their individual experiences and viewpoints, regarding the threat they say that the oil and gas industry poses to all.

‘Flood Into Baton Rouge’ was designed to bring attention to a broad range of threats to clean drinking water faced by communities throughout the state.

The march was organized in response to Governor Jindal’s signing of SB 469 into law (Act 544) earlier this month. Rally organizers say that the law might jeopardize the state’s claim to environmental penalties levied against British Petroleum (BP) from the 2010 BP Macondo explosion.

Speakers at the event included Lt. General Russel Honoré, and others from numerous grassroots organizations. St. Tammany’s Southern Hills aquafier, Lake Peigneur, Bayou Corne, Lake Ponchartrain, Pearl River were a few of the waters that concerned participants discussed.