In the News

8.4.12

While Drought Hurts Farming, It’s Actually Helping the Gulf

The Midwest is going through one of the worst droughts in decades. The most recent US Drought Monitor map shows about a third of the Midwest experiencing extreme drought levels. More than 80 percent of Arkansas is in extreme drought, with 44 percent at the harshest level, exceptional drought, according to the map.But while all of this dryness is hurting farming, it’s actually helping the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

8.4.12

Plan released for restoring wetlands harmed by post-Katrina levees

This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented a portfolio of wetland-restoration projects that it says should mitigate the impact of building levees in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. The agency did not say how much the work would cost, but planners said earlier this year that they expect to spend about $252 million on restoration projects that stem from the construction of the 160-mile levee system.

8.4.12

Water level on Mississippi continues to drop

As iconic as the Washington Monument, as American as apple pie, and famous in song and stories, the Mississippi River is nothing less than America's river. Sometimes moody, and occasionally even lazy, and very often so powerful in it's reach that thousands of acres of farm and ranch lands can be inundated by it's yearly floods, the Mississippi is a waterway we depend on to move our goods.

8.2.12

Can't save Louisiana coast without cutting emissions: Bob Marshall

When history looks back on the outcome of efforts to prevent southeast Louisiana from becoming part of the Gulf of Mexico, few headlines could turn out to be as significant as this one from Saturday's Times-Picayune: "Corps delays repairs on MR-GO." It wasn't the news that the chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. General Thomas Bostick, wants Louisiana to pay 35 percent of a $2.9 billion plan to repair damage from that project; we're always fighting the feds over dollars.

8.1.12

Tabasco® Leader Lauded for Coastal Commitment

The Tabasco® brand is known across the globe as a symbol of Louisiana food and culture. Now, the leader of the family company that produces the famous hot pepper sauce is being lauded as a symbol of the effort to save Louisiana itself.

7.31.12

Public private partnerships are the key to restoring the Gulf

Last week Oxfam, The Nature Conservancy, and Coast Builders Coalition hosted a forum, Rebuilding Our Economy, Restoring Our Environment in Thibodaux, Louisiana—ground zero for some of the most severe climate hazards that Louisiana has experienced. The forum brought together a diverse set of stakeholders from the private sector, government, workforce agencies, conservation and environmental organizations and community groups to promote workforce development and training in coastal restoration projects.

7.30.12

Gulf of Mexico dead zone is smaller this year because of drought, researcher says

This year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone," an area of low oxygen that develops every spring and summer, is the fourth-smallest since measurements of the zones began in 1985, a new report says. The zone measured 2,889 square miles, said the report released Friday by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. The dead zone forms because fertilizer and other nutrients run into the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf. The nutrients feed huge numbers of microscopic organisms. When they die, their decomposition uses up oxygen. It is a recurring problem affecting sea life off the Louisiana coast, and sometimes the coasts of Mississippi and Texas.

7.27.12

Geosynthetics Industry Poised to Grow as Gulf Coast Restoration Ramps Up

What are geosynthetics and why are they central to the creation of jobs and expansion of coastal restoration projects? A new Duke University study, “GEOSYNTHETICS: Coastal Management Applications in the Gulf of Mexico,” details how the emerging geosynthetics industry can create jobs benefitting nearly 200 employee locations in 36 states, including more than 72 in the five gulf states and 24 in Louisiana. Duke has also created an online interactive map showing firm-level data and firm locations by state and value chain segment.

7.25.12

Nation has large stake in protecting Louisiana from storms, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says

New Orleans should be viewed as the "canary in the coal mine" for failures of the nation's infrastructure, including the more than 50 failures of floodwalls and levees during Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Tuesday told an audience of business, government and environmental leaders discussing how best to mitigate the damages of weather-caused disasters. Landrieu's comments were what he labeled a "clarion call" aimed at garnering national support for the state's $50 billion, 50-year master plan to build a sustainable coastline to protect New Orleans, other south Louisiana communities and coastal industries that include a significant share of the nation's oil and natural gas.

7.25.12

Spillways Can Divert Sand from River to Rebuild Wetlands

Researchers could have a new method to rebuild wetlands of the Louisiana delta, thanks to a chance finding while monitoring severe flooding of the Mississippi River.

7.25.12

How to Rebuild the Mississippi Delta

Our study “demonstrates that there’s a strong feasibility or potential to build new landscape in Louisiana,” said Jeffrey A. Nittrouer, a geologist at the University of Illinois and the lead author of the letter. He said the recent use of the Bonnet Carré spillway showed that by choosing the right place to build a diversion in the Mississippi and opening it at the right time, planners could build up a substantial amount of sediment in the delta.

7.23.12

Revitalize our coast, ensure our survival: A guest column by U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise

It's a well-known fact that Louisiana loses a football field of land every hour and more than 16 miles of coastline a year. In all, Louisiana has lost enough land through coastal erosion to equal the entire state of Delaware.

7.23.12

TESTIMONY OF CHIEF THOMAS DARDAR, JR. PRINCIPAL CHIEF OF THE UNITED HOUMA NATION BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS

TESTIMONY OF CHIEF THOMAS DARDAR, JR. PRINCIPAL CHIEF OF THE UNITED HOUMA NATION before the SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS REGARDING OVERSIGHT HEARING ON ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES ON TREATY RIGHTS, TRADITIONAL LIFESTYLES AND TRIBAL HOMELANDS

7.19.12

Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup draws fresh criticism

With oil from the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico continuing to show up on beaches and in wetlands along Louisiana's coast, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday passed a resolution criticizing the Coast Guard for prematurely allowing BP to pull cleanup teams from coastal areas it declares clean. The authority passed a second resolution requesting the governor's office and the state attorney general's office to brief its members on whether any of the state's criminal statutes can be applied to BP.

7.13.12

Houston energy exec to chair coastal conservation board

Bolstering claims I’ve heard from several Houston energy executives that they possess environmentalist tendencies, this week David Keane, the vice president of policy and corporate affairs for the natural gas powerhouse BG Group PLC, talked with me about his passion for protecting the Gulf Coast wetlands.

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