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Back in the bayou

Photo by Subrata De

Brian Williams and Dean Blanchard, Venice, La.

Tonight you'll see us from one of my favorite places on earth: Venice, Louisiana. I woke up to the sight of a small gator in the canal outside my motel room -- alongside the levee that was no match for Katrina. Driving to the marina where we'll locate the broadcast tonight, we passed the now-familiar piles of Katrina rubble, the buildings that have not been repaired all these years later. And of course we're here to cover the progress since the most recent disaster a year ago: the BP spill.

We passed the giant shrimping vessels on our way into the marina, vessels with names like "Gladiator" and "All In", that seem like remnants of a better time. The season for these boats starts in mid-May, and in a few days the docks will be crowded with buckets, brushes, engine parts and all the assorted signs of the approaching season. The market for shrimp is tight, but the shrimp are plentiful -- for simple reasons of supply (lots) and demand (zero to very little following the spill).

I urge you to see our interview with Dean Blanchard tonight -- a veteran shrimper, a business owner on nearby Grand Isle. He tells it like it is, with an accent that must be heard to be believed.

It's great to be back, and we hope you can join us tonight.