Archive for Latest News
TV cooking show to spotlight area wetlands' plight
By Meredith Burns, Houma Courier. Feb. 2, 2016.
"Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program staff will show off some of the area’s best seafood on an episode of the TV show “Flip My Food” airing this week…" (read more)
7 Louisiana coastal restoration projects gain new approvals
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Feb. 1, 2016.
"A federal-state coastal restoration task force has ordered design work to begin on five new restoration projects and a restoration demonstration. It also OK'd the start of construction on two existing projects…" (read more)
Final bays on Bonnet Carre Spillway closed Monday as Mississippi River level slowly falls
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Feb. 1, 2016.
"The last 24 bays at the Bonnet Carre Spillway were closed Monday, ending the flow of Mississippi River water into Lake Pontchartrain, but south Louisiana could see more rising river water in the spring…" (read more)
Engineering will start on two coastal restoration projects in south Lafourche after a state-federal task force approved paying their design costs
By Associated Press. Feb. 2, 2016.
"THIBODAUX, Louisiana — Engineering will start on two coastal restoration projects in south Lafourche after a state-federal task force approved paying their design costs…" (read more)
Deepwater Horizon restoration projects need accountability
By Larry McKinney, TribTalk. Feb. 1, 2016.
"After years of assessment, litigation and negotiation, BP has agreed to pay more than $20 billion in penalties to settle claims in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that devastated the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. In October, the Natural Resource Trustees released an eye-popping overview of their plans to put that money to use restoring the environment…" (read more)
Nearly 1,000 scientists in Tampa for conference on BP oil spill
By Keith Morelli, The Tampa Tribune. Feb. 1, 2016.
"TAMPA — Nearly 1,000 scientists, researchers and environmental experts from all over the globe are in downtown Tampa this week for the four-day Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference…" (read more)
How long will Lake Pontchartrain stay dirty?
By Todd Masson, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 28, 2016.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to complete the task of closing the bays in the Bonnet Carre Spillway next week, but that won't immediately alter the hydrological makeup of Lake Pontchartrain…" (read more)
Did spillway opening push speckled trout out of Lake Pontchartrain?
By Todd Masson, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 28, 2016.
"Salinity isn't terribly important to speckled trout this time of year, but clarity is, and for the past couple of weeks, much of Lake Pontchartrain has been about as clear as advanced-placement calculus…" (read more)
New Orleans Is Done Fighting Water
By Julian Spector, City Lab. Jan. 29, 2016.
"Unlike some other flood-prone, below-sea-level cities, New Orleans keeps its water hidden. Whereas Amsterdam and Venice channel the seas through a dense network of canals dispersed throughout the city, New Orleans long ago resorted to fortifying its borders against the lakes, river, and swamps that surround it—pumping out whatever water got through. That was one reason why Hurricane Katrina hit the levees with such ferocity: the pent-up floodwaters got funneled down the man-made canals until they crashed against man-made barriers…" (read more)
Louisiana pays more than $19K for destroyed wetlands
By The Associated Press. Jan. 28, 2016.
"Louisiana has had to pay nearly $20,000 to compensate for the fact that New Orleans’ City Park illegally cleared more than an acre of wetlands for a new golf course last year…" (read more)
Terrebonne Parish Council approves new parish administrators
By Sean Ellis, The Daily Comet. Jan. 27, 2016.
"The Terrebonne Parish Council unanimously approved all of Parish President Gordon Dove's appointments of parish administrators and the parish's attorney and assistant attorneys at its meeting tonight…" (read more)
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser promotes tourism to stimulate state economy
By Liz Koh, KPLC-TV. Jan. 28, 2016.
"While State Treasurer John Kennedy discussed the state's struggling oil industry at the Golden Nugget on Thursday, over at L'Auberge, newly-elected Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser proposed a solution to stimulate the state's economy…" (read more)
Floodwaters start to recede
By Stacy Gill, The Advocate. Jan. 27, 2016.
"Several roads that were closed recently because of floodwater from the Mississippi River in West Feliciana Parish remain closed as of Jan. 25, including River Road at Tunica, Cat Island Road at Polly Creek and the low-water bridge at Solitude…" (read more)
Nungesser taps former LDWF secretary to lead state parks
By Greg Hilburn, The News Star. Jan. 26, 2016.
"Robert Barham, who served two terms as former Gov. Bobby Jindal's Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary, will direct state parks and historic sites under new Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser…" (read more)
Gentilly Resiliency District goes against flow of how New Orleans handles stormwater
By Greg LaRose, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 26, 2016.
"A $141 million grant the federal government awarded New Orleans last week will allow the city to tackle one of its most ambitious infrastructure projects since a network of drainage canals and pumping stations were built to turn its sub-sea level swampland into sprawling suburban-style neighborhoods decades ago…" (read more)
What You Need to Know About the Gentilly Resiliency District
By Lauren LaBorde, Curbed. Jan. 27, 2016.
"New Orleans recently won a grant to improve handling of stormwater, and the buzzwordy Gentilly Resiliency District was presented as one of the initiatives the grant will power. The only thing we knew about it then was the vague aim of creating "resilient safe and equitable communities of opportunity," but now there's more info. Here's the skinny…" (read more)
Bonnet Carre Spillway closing begins as river slowly drops
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 25, 2016.
"The Army Corps of Engineers began closing the first 10 of 210 bays in the Bonnet Carre Spillway weir at Norco on Monday (Jan. 25), as the flow of the Mississippi River continued to drop at the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans. The corps hopes to complete the closure of the structure, which diverts river water to Lake Pontchartrain to reduce the height and speed of water stressing levees in the New Orleans area, in seven to 10 days, spokesman Ricky Boyett said…" (read more)
Corps begins closing gates on Bonnet Carre Spillway; could have all gates shut by Feb. 2
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 25, 2016.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began closing bays at the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Monday as the water level along the Mississippi River continues to fall slowly…" (read more)
HUD awards $233.8M to Louisiana and N.O. under NDRC
By WWL.com. Jan. 25, 2016.
"At a ceremony at Mirabeau Gardens in New Orleans today, HUD Regional Administrator Tammye Treviño, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Rockefeller Foundation announced that a total of $233.8 million had been awarded to the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Nationally, a total of $1 billion in grants was awarded to 13 States and cities, all of whom will use the funds for resilient housing and infrastructure projects in areas that were impacted by recent major disasters…" (read more)
Our Views: Long-term plan for coastal diversion projects
By Editorial Board Staff, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 21, 2016.
*features John Lopez (Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation) and Kimberly Davis Reyher (Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana)
"When Mother Nature gives you an opportunity, you’ve got to be in position to take advantage of it. Now, with the Mississippi River hitting its crest in January, another high-water event will not be of much help to Louisiana’s endangered coastline…" (read more)
HUD sends La. $234M for flooding
By Cain Burdeau, The Associated Press. Jan. 23, 2016.
"NEW ORLEANS — In a nod to the threat Louisiana faces from flooding, the federal government is sending $233.8 million in grants to Louisiana to relocate a coastal American-Indian village, prevent damage from hurricanes and make a suburban slice of New Orleans better at handling stormwaters…" (read more)
Mississippi River water level to start slow decline; some Bonnet Carre gates could close next week
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 22, 2016.
"The beginning of the end for the latest Mississippi River flooding has arrived in south Louisiana because water levels will start to slowly fall on Saturday in Baton Rouge, possibly prompting the closure of some bays at Bonnet Carre as early as Monday…" (read more)
Guest column: River should be harnessed for restoration
By Jeff Hebert and David Muth for The Advocate. Jan. 22, 2016.
"The recent opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway is a dramatic reminder of our region’s precarious relationship with water and the responsibility and opportunity we have to be innovative leaders in water management…" (read more)
Louisiana awarded $92 million in disaster resilience funds: $52 million to help relocate Isle de Jean Charles community
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 21, 2016.
"Louisiana has been awarded more than $92 million through a National Disaster Resilience Competition, part of which will help the community of Native Americans living in Isle de Jean Charles to relocate to safer ground…" (read more)
City of New Orleans wins $141 million to build Gentilly 'resilience district'
By Robert McClendon, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2016.
"The city of New Orleans Thursday (Jan. 21) won a $141 million grant to create a "resilience district" in Gentilly…" (read more)
Gov. John Bel Edwards' plan to use oil spill funds at odds with lawsuit settlement
By Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press. Jan. 21, 2016.
"Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposal to redirect Gulf oil spill recovery money to rebalance this year's budget appears to conflict with a legal settlement the state struck two years ago, aimed at ending a lawsuit over Louisiana's "rainy day" fund…" (read more)
Isle de Jean Charles community to receive $52 million to relocate
By the Houma Courier. Jan. 21, 2016.
"Louisiana will receive $92 million from a federal disaster resilience competition, of which more than half will be spent relocating a local native american tribe from their disappearing homeland…" (read more)
Fisheries officials say the fall shrimp season will close on Monday in state waters close to shore
By Associated Press. Jan. 22, 2016.
"BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Fisheries officials say the fall shrimp season will close on Monday in state waters close to shore…" (read more)
Mississippi River cresting, to drop slowly in New Orleans
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2016.
"The high water level of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans area seems to have become a wintertime way of life. Ocean-going tankers and cargo vessels appear to tower above St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter, and water laps threateningly near Uptown picnickers venturing to the Fly behind Audubon Zoo…" (read more)
Funding continues for coastal projects
By John Guidroz, American Press (Lake Charles). Jan. 20, 2016.
"Two programs that have helped fund coastal restoration projects statewide are dwindling, but two others will pay for continued efforts, a state coastal official said Tuesday…" (read more)
Landowners Encouraged To Convert Old Farmland To Wetlands
By Tegan Wendland, WWNO. Jan. 20, 2016.
"State officials want landowners to convert old farmland to wetlands. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for its Agricultural Conservation Easement Program…" (read more)
'After The Spill' documentary mixes oil and coastal erosion
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 20, 2016.
"After The Spill," a new documentary by noted filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, attempts to place the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill into the context of Louisiana's seeming love affair with the oil and gas industry and its life-and-death battle with coastal erosion…" (read more)
Advocacy group continues push to use river silt to rebuild land
By Sean Ellis, Houma Courier. Jan. 19, 2016.
*features Alisha Renfro, National Wildlife Federation and Simone Maloz, Restore or Retreat
"During high-water events, such as the one being experienced, on the Mississippi River, the river contains more water and sediment than usual and experts from the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition say the natural power of the rivers needs to be used to restore the coast…" (read more)
Sportsmen call for Louisiana governor to commit dollars to restoring coast
By Laurie Wiegler, examiner.com. Jan. 20, 2016.
*features Steve Bender, Vanishing Paradise and National Wildlife Federation
"Yesterday, Jan. 19, 125 Louisiana sportsmen businesses and organizations sent a letter to Louisiana's new governor, John Bel Edwards, asking that he honor his commitment to restoring Louisiana’s coast…" (read more)
John Bel Edwards proposes sales tax hike for April 1 and other budget-fixing measures
By Julia O'Donoghue, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 19, 2016.
"Gov. John Bel Edwards is proposing to increase the state sales tax by 25 percent on April 1 — adding an extra penny to the existing 4-cent-per-dollar levy — to get the state's immediate budget crisis under control…" (read more)
Louisiana officials monitor Bonnet Carré Spillway opening for impacts on state's oyster industry
By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com. Jan. 20, 2016.
"Despite concerns about the impact of a rare spillway opening to alleviate Mississippi River flooding, Louisiana officials are cautiously optimistic about this season's oyster harvest…" (read more)
Officials and environmentalists lament that water once again is high in the Mississippi but sediment isn’t being diverted to marshes
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 16, 2016.
*features John Lopez (LPBF), David Muth and Alisha Renfro (NWF), and Kim Reyher (CRCL)
"After the 2011 flood pushed record amounts of silt-laden water through the Mississippi River valley, coastal activists lamented the fact that no river diversions were in place to capture some of the sediment to help rebuild Louisiana’s marshes…" (read more)
Lafourche, Terrebonne coastal projects supported as state priorities
By Jacob Batte, Houma Courier. Jan. 15, 2016.
*features Simone Maloz, Restore or Retreat
"Restoration projects in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes are among the top priorities in the state's Coastal Master Plan, and local officials expressed hope Thursday night that support will continue…" (read more).
Mississippi River crests in Baton Rouge, will inch lower as water leaves the floodplain for the Gulf of Mexico
By Amy Wold, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 18, 2016.
"The rising Mississippi River crested Monday in Baton Rouge at a slightly lower than expected level of 43.3 feet, but the high water is expected to stick around for a while…" (read more)
Letters: Ink wasted on climate change doubter
Opinion by Alexander S Kolker, The Advocate. Jan. 18, 2016.
"It was very disappointing to see Cal Thomas’s climate skepticism column printed in The Advocate. Climate change is real, and it is a threat to Louisianan and the nation. Scientists have been able to demonstrate that Earth’s temperature is increasing, as are greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane…" (read more)
Swelling Mississippi River proves challenging, part of doing business on waterway
By Heath Allen, WDSU. Jan. 15, 2016.
"The Mississippi River continues to get a lot of attention in the wake of the collision Thursday that set free six barges near the Crescent City Connection. The Coast Guard is watching river traffic, while the Corps of Engineers manages the level…" (read more).