Leaders try to put price on spill

PASS CHRISTIAN — Dwayne Lehman leaned against his pickup as nightfall settled over the harbor and reminisced about Paw-paw teaching him to fish decades ago.

Lehman, 43, was raised on the water, a fact confirmed by his leathered carriage, the dirt in his cuticles, the scruff on his face and the salt in his blood.

“You tell a farmer he can’t dig, he’s ruint,” he said. “You tell a fisherman he can’t fish, you destroy him. You can’t put a price on that.”

Yet putting a price on the BP oil spill is exactly what officials will attempt to do in the months, years, maybe decades ahead.

In the process, Mississippi will learn the the vital role Gulf Coast counties play in the overall health of the state economy.

Clarion Ledger