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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Decade After Katrina, Pointing Finger More Firmly at Army Corps
By Campbell Robertson & John Schwartz, New York Times. May 23, 2015
"This debate centered on how best to prevent flooding from the city’s three major drainage canals, which jut into the city from Lake Pontchartrain. The levees and flood walls along two of these canals failed during the hurricane, letting water pour through neighborhoods and drown scores of people.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Levee group publishes first report
By Meredith Burns, Daily Comet. May 21, 2015
"The Coastal Louisiana Levee Consortium published its first report last week to provide information on building levees and related policies.The report includes South Lafourche Levee District’s guide to build affordable levees, a paper from North Lafourche Levee District Executive Director Dwayne Bourgeois about the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, and other information.” (Read More)
 
High incidence of dolphin deaths in Gulf of Mexico conclusively linked to BP oil
By Laurie Wiegler, Examiner. May 21, 2015
"Colin O'Mara, pres. and CEO of the NWF, said in part in his organization's e-mailed statement: "…This new federal study proves conclusively that BP is misleading the American people and puts the ‘smoking gun’ in BP’s hands. The facts are clear: the company’s ‘grossly negligent’ actions killed dolphins in the northern Gulf.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Federal Scientists Link Dolphin Die-offs to BP Spill
*features Steve Cochran, EDF, MRD statement
By Eileen Fleming, WWNO. May 21, 2015
"Anybody is free to say whatever they want or issue some study and BP did that with their big report saying, ‘Everything was fine. No need to look anymore here.’ Right? But the point of science is to test these things and that’s what peer review is all about. And that’s what we’re looking at here and that’s what matters." (Read More)
 
Study Links Record Dolphin Die-Off in the Gulf of Mexico to Deepwater Horizon Spill
*features Alisha Renfro, NWF
By Kate Valentine, Think Progress. May 20, 2015
“What this study really does is create a really strong link in the chain that shows that not only did you have an oil spill, but the habitat, particularly in Barataria Bay was impacted,” Alisha Renfro, staff scientist at the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, told ThinkProgress of Wednesday’s study." (Read More)
 
Environmentalists worry that first RESTORE grants focus on just small efforts
*features David Muth, NWF
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. May 20, 2015
"We need clear guidelines that match the overarching purpose of RESTORE, which is to address the ecosystem-wide problems we face. That’s why we supported RESTORE.” (Read More)
 
Study links BP spill to dolphin deaths
By Emily Yehle, E&E. May 20, 2015
"This new federal study proves conclusively that BP is misleading the American people and puts the 'smoking gun' in BP's hands," O'Mara said. "The facts are clear: The company's 'grossly negligent' actions killed dolphins in the northern Gulf. And while we may never know the full extent of the damage, because only a small fraction of dolphin carcasses are ever found, NOAA's scientific research indicates a direct link between BP's oil spill and the horrible deaths experienced by dolphins.” (Read More)
 
BP oil spill contributed to dead dolphins, scientists say, citing tissue samples
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. May 20, 2015
"The BP oil spill contributed to the deaths of bottlenose dolphins along the Gulf of Mexico's northern coast, scientists said Wednesday (May 20), citing a study of tissue samples that for the first time found conclusive evidence of a link between the disaster and the animals' deaths.” (Read More)
 
Big Oil: Five years after Deepwater Horizon
By Emily Green, Real Change. May 20, 2015
"BP has said there is no way it can pay anywhere near $14 billion, and it looks like it might get a much smaller fine as a result. What they did, which was really sneaky, is they split off their U.S. offshore arm from the rest of their U.S. business, and they’re saying, basically, that their offshore business doesn’t have enough money — and it’s just ludicrous.The parent is what we should be looking at, and the parent company, which is BP based in London, made over $200 billion in revenue last year.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Local bills win final legislative approval
By Jeremy Harper, Daily Comet. May 19, 2015
“The annual plan is released each year as part of Louisiana's $50 billion Comprehensive Master Plan for coastal restoration and protection. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority approved the plan earlier this year, but it requires legislative approval as well." (Read More)

Five years after Deepwater Horizon
By Kat Diersen, National Geographic. May 20, 2015
“Nevertheless, the environmental impacts of the spill and dispersants used in subsequent cleanup efforts are stunning in their breadth and scale.  Over a thousand miles of coastline were ultimately oiled.  Tens of thousands of acres of wetlands were choked by it, causing death of trees and grasses that sped up the already rapid erosion of the Louisiana coast.  Oiled birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals were collected for rehabilitation by the thousands." (Read More)
 
 Federal study of dolphin deaths after BP spill to be released Wednesday
By AP,The Times-Picayune. May 20, 2015
“The results of a federal study into possible links between BP's catastrophic 2010 oil spill and a spate of dolphin deaths since the spill is set to be released Wednesday. The study is part of a wide-ranging assessment of ecological damage caused by the spill." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Where do Louisiana’s four major gubernatorial candidates stand on coastal sediment diversions?
By Todd Masson, The Times-Picayune. May 18, 2015
“I'm not at all convinced that it's an either-or proposition, that you either have to protect the marsh as it is right now or do some diversions to make sure you stop the erosion that we have. The Master Plan that's in place was very well thought-out. It was driven by science." (Read More)

Thousands living outside floodwalls fight for their own hurricane defenses
By John Snell, WVUE. May 18, 2015
“Creppel points out dozens of plantations once lined the Mississippi River before man started re-engineering nature, robbing the wetlands of the river's life-giving sediment." (Read More)

Work continues on building barrier strips of land from Plaquemines to Lafourche parishes; will soon help prevent flooding, storm surges
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. May 19, 2015
“Efforts to build a barrier of coastal land from the west levee in Plaquemines Parish to the east levee in Lafourche Parish continues as sediment is dredged from the Mississippi River and put in place via a pipeline. The first strip of land is being constructed just southeast of Jean Lafitte with the construction of 390 acres along Bayou Dupont and the second strip is 415 acres of land that continues farther west." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Pipeline moves Mississippi River sand to create 12-mile land bridge across three parishes
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. May 15, 2015
“The flag-planting occurred about the eight-mile point in the project that's building a ridge and marsh platform out of sand dredged from the Mississippi River near the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery south of Belle Chasse and pumped inland. For the past five years, segments of the project have deposited the ridge and marsh, as much as 3 1/2 feet above sea level, across Plaquemines Parish and into Jefferson Parish." (Read More)

Coastal project could bring relief to one of La.’s most flood-prone communities
By John Snell, WVUE. May 15, 2015
“A South Louisiana community with a chronic flooding problem stands to get a little extra protection, thanks to a long-distance delivery. A $66.1 million state and federal project under construction south of Lafitte aims to build or sustain 415 acres of wetlands and begin restoration of the Barataria Landbridge." (Read More)

Senator David Vitter gives U.S. Army Corps of Engineers an ultimatum: run flood-control structures in New Orleans with or without money
By Jeff Adelson, The Advocate. May 17, 2015
“This could raise the stakes in a long-running argument among the Corps, the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection authorities over which of them is responsible for operating three key pieces of the system of levees, floodwalls and pumps in the New Orleans area and who is on the hook for those costs." (Read More)

If oil industry is serious, it will help protect St. Charles Parish from rising water: John Barry
By John Barry, The Times-Picayune. May 17, 2015
“St. Charles wants to build a $300 million levee to protect its west bank. The threat to this area has increased enormously because of the tremendous land loss in the Barataria Basin, land that once naturally protected the area against hurricane storm surge. And it is in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins where oil and gas industry activities have had more destructive impact than anywhere else in the state." (Read More)

US agencies say decade-old Gulf oil leak could persist 100 years or more if unchecked
By Eric Tucker & Michael Kunzelman, US News. May 16, 2015
“For more than a decade, oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico where a hurricane toppled a drilling company's platform off the coast of Louisiana. Now the federal government is warning that the leak could last another century or more if left unchecked." (Read More)

Terrebone Parish notes progress on levee system
By AP, New Orleans City Business. May 15, 2015
“Terrebonne Parish officials praised the progress being made on the Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee system.
Councilman John Navy says it’s important that the public knows why they’re continuing to fight for money from our state and federal delegation to continue the Morganza-to-the-Gulf project." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

House approves committee to consider lifting oyster lease moratorium
By Jeremy Harper, Houma Today. May 13, 2015
“The House of Representatives approved a resolution Wednesday creating a commission to review lifting the state’s moratorium on new oyster leases." (Read More)

A deeper Mississippi River on the Horizon
By Kathryn Stone, Maritime Executive. May 14, 2015
“On Wednesday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its plans to draft a supplemental environmental impact report looking into expanding an area of the Mississippi River Ship Canal between Baton Rouge and the Gulf of Mexico. The plan will deepen the section section of the river from 45 feet up to a maximum of 50 feet in order to accommodate larger vessels destined for the Panama Canal." (Read More)
 
Corps’ toughest critic heaps praise on new hurricane defenses
By John Snell, WVUE. May 14, 2015
“Today, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet is closed, blocked by the surge barrier and a giant rock structure 17 miles to the east. From the air, the MRGO closure is deceiving. While it stretches nearly 1,000 feet across the waterway, it peaks through the surface like an ice berg. Just 12 feet wide at the surface, it covers 450 feet at the water bottom. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in New Orleans East remains open, but a giant sector gate closes there at the surge barrier during storm events." (Read More)

Coast hopes to boost nature-based tourism
By Evelina Burnett, MPB. May 14, 2015
“Wildlife tourism is already a $2 billion business in Mississippi. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports on a new nature tourism effort on the Gulf Coast intended to boost that number even higher. The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area is creating a management plan to help encourage the growth of nature-based tourism." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea
By Antonia Juhasz, Harper’s Magazine. June 2015 Issue
“For the next fourteen hours, we would sail toward the site of BP’s Macondo well, where, in April 2010, a blowout caused the largest offshore-drilling oil spill in history. Once there, Atlantis’s crew would launch Alvin and guide it to the bottom of the ocean, reaching depths as great as 7,200 feet below the surface. Over the next twenty-two days they would send the submersible down seventeen times, to gather animal, plant, water, and sediment samples. Their goal was to determine how BP’s spill had affected the ocean’s ecosystem from the seabed up. I would get the chance to join them in the submarine as they went closer to the Macondo wellhead than anyone had gone since the blowout.." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

BP oil spill: Judge rejects fight to delay environmental fines
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. May 13, 2015
“A federal judge has denied a request to delay a decision on how much BP owes in environmental fines from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill until after the company pays all damage claims related to the disaster." (Read More)

Coastal senators float revenue-sharing proposals for energy bill consideration
By Nick Juliano, E&E Daily. May 13, 2015
“The long-running effort by coastal lawmakers to increase the share of offshore drilling revenue going to their states' coffers is slated for fresh consideration as the Senate works to assemble a comprehensive, bipartisan energy bill this year." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Wetland Resources Invents Ways to Save Coastline Faster

By Eve Abrams, WWNO. May 12, 2015
“Shaffer says coastal Louisiana’s biggest problem is saltwater intrusion. Not only do cypress and tupelo protect against hurricanes, they build back the land through their roots, which trap sediment, and their leaves, which decompose extremely slowly in the marsh. But these trees die in saltwater. Restoration requires freshwater." (Read More)

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