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North Carolina's First Lady pays visit to hurting fishermen

(WITN)
Published: Sep. 21, 2019 at 7:33 PM EDT
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It's been a difficult year for commercial fisherman Down East which is why Crystal Coast Waterkeeper hosted First Lady Kristin Cooper in Harkers Island Saturday,

Cooper was able to see first hand the struggles many commercial fisherman are facing as a result of Hurricane Florence.

"Everything that goes in upstream is eventually going to come down here and it's impacting the environment and the water quality in this area," says Crystal Waterkeeper Larry Baldwin.

Because of Hurricane Florence's impact on water quality and commercial fishing, the industry, economy, and many communities are now suffering.

"It's meant a lot of cutbacks and a lot of reinvestment and trying to rebuild to what I had prior, in particular the oyster farm," added Commercial fisherman Adam Tyler.

Because of those water quality concerns, fisherman say quality seafood is being compromised.

"Now we're importing shrimp in particular for Taiwan and Vietnam and they are, I'm sorry it's nasty what we're consuming, thinking that we're eating fresh seafood," says Baldwin.

After experiencing fishermen's concerns first hand, Mrs. Cooper says there is still a lot of work to be done.

"This is an ongoing situation that we need to keep in the front of our minds and to help as much as we can," said the state's First Lady..

As for Baldwin, he says as a Crystal Coast Waterkeeper, he will continue to promote clean water.