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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

State conservation group commends decision to hold Corps liable for MRGO wetlands restoration
*features Rebecca Triche, LWF
WVUE. September 2, 2015
"This is a big win for the greater New Orleans area and the state of Louisiana," said Rebecca Triche, executive director for Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF). "The MRGO destroyed wetlands that are critical in protecting New Orleans and the surrounding area from storm surge and this decision signals an end to delays in moving forward with restoration.” (Read More)
 
The Homespun Tech That’s Helping to Shore up Louisiana’s Disappearing Coastline
By Lauren Zanolli , Fast Coexist. September 2, 2015
"Today, authorities in Louisiana are scrambling to muster the resources for a massive proposed $50BN plan to shore up the state’s sinking coastline. Meanwhile, in classic Louisiana DIY fashion, local entrepreneurs, inventors and ecologists are working outside the bureaucracy to jumpstart simple solutions to this complex problem. Here are a few that are getting their hands dirty for coastal restoration.” (Read More)
 
Plans begin for coastal projects
By Meredith Burns, The Daily Comet.  September 1, 2015
"Today, authorities in Louisiana are scrambling to muster the resources for a massive proposed $50BN plan to shore up the state’s sinking coastline. Meanwhile, in classic Louisiana DIY fashion, local entrepreneurs, inventors and ecologists are working outside the bureaucracy to jumpstart simple solutions to this complex problem. Here are a few that are getting their hands dirty for coastal restoration.” (Read More)
 
Funded by NFWF, Audubon Louisiana and Bertucci Contracting Corp. Announce Partnership to Demonstrate Small Dredge Technology
September 2, 2015
"This demonstration project will serve as an important model for landowners across coastal Louisiana in need of new small-scale marsh creation techniques that may offer affordable solutions to land loss problems plaguing Louisiana’s coast. Audubon has been a Louisiana landowner since 1924, and through this new partnership with Bertucci, the opportunity will be presented to many Louisiana landowners to better understand available dredge technology. More than 85 percent of Louisiana's 10-million-acre coastal zone is privately owned.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: September 2, 2015

September 2, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

‘Natural’ river diversion at center of coastal restoration conflict (video)
*features John Lopez & Theryn Henkel, LPBF
By David Hammer, WWL-TV. September 1, 2015
"It was coastal scientist John Lopez of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation who first dubbed this cleft Mardi Gras Pass, and he's now giving it credit for actually starting the work that Louisiana has yet to muster the resources to pursue.” (Read More)
 
Strategies: Entrepreneurs preventing the next Katrina
By Rhonda Abrams, USA Today. August 28, 2015
"Mack launched Tierra Resources in 2007 with two Louisiana State University professors as core team members, John Day and Rob Lane. Their goal was to create the business case behind private investment into wetlands restoration and to explore new, more cost-effective methods of creating and preserving wetlands.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: September 1, 2015

September 1, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Our views: Gov. Bobby Jindal’s master plan on coastal restoration ‘is the framework for an effective response’
The Advocate. August 31, 2015
"If there are issues dividing the candidates running for governor, coastal restoration is not among them. In fact, there’s a striking level of agreement about the principles of a state plan to use Mississippi River water and sediments to rebuild the sinking coastline.” (Read More)

Ten years after Katrina, New Orleans is still a ticking time bomb
By Sertan Sanderson, DW. August 30, 2015
"However, what I'm most concerned about is what happens after that. In fifty years from now I hope that we're still even here. This city is sinking. We're losing the wetlands around New Orleans at an astonishing rate. We're losing a football field of marshlands every 45 minutes. That's where the money has to be invested now. We rebuilt our city, but we are far from having saved it.” (Read More)

Coastal erosion is killing Louisiana
By Cody Sibley, LSU Daily Reveille. August 30, 2015
"The science is out there, and the brightest scientists in the world have reached a unanimous agreement: Climate change is real, and we’re causing it. This isn’t a debate. There isn’t controversy. Man-made climate change is as factual as gravity, and if you disagree you’re part of the problem that’s sinking Louisiana.” (Read More)

Louisiana’s vanishing coast
The Times-Picayune. August 30, 2015
"Before and after images show a decade’s loss.” (Read More)
 
America is Forgetting the Lessons It Never Learned from Hurricane Katrina
By John McQuaid, Medium. August 29, 2015
"But the forces pushing us back toward the edge of various disasters, there and elsewhere, are formidable, and growing. New Orleans is a canary in the coal mine for the 21st century; its anomalous location at or below sea level means it will bear the brunt of rising seas. We ought to be confident it will still be there in 100 years. We are not.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

New Orleans hurricane defenses rely on swamps as much as levees
*features Alisha Renfro, NWF
By Kim Brunhuber, CBC News. August 28, 2015
"The storm surge itself interacts with the plants and it causes friction and slowing the storm surge down, decreasing the height of that storm surge," Renfro says. So not only can it protect the coastal communities, it can also help protect the infrastructure that we've built around our coastal communities from things like large hurricanes.” (Read More)

Planners: Re-channel the Mississippi River to save other parts of the delta closer to New Orleans (video)
*features Steve Cochran, EDF By John Snell, WVUE. August 28, 2015
"It's such a powerful engine, this river," said Steve Cochran, director for Mississippi River Delta Restoration at the Environmental Defense Fund, who oversaw the competition. "How can we use the most of it? “The concept of re-engineering the river is nothing new, having been discussed among engineers since the 1970s. However, it rarely draws much public attention.” (Read More)

How Hurricane Katrina Redrew the Gulf Coast
*features David Muth, NWF & Theryn Henkel, LPBF
By Helen Thompson, Smithsonian.com. August 28, 2015
"For still-damaged wetlands, “the most important thing we can do is fix the system—unleash nature to recover its capacity for resiliency,” says Muth. That means diverting the river to restore damaged wetlands and doing our best to control exotic species.” (Read More)

Katrina Ten Years Later: Can New Orleans Weather the Next Storm? (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
By Rhonda Schaffler, The Street. August 25, 2015
"For still-damaged wetlands, “the most important thing we can do is fix the system—unleash nature to recover its capacity for resiliency,” says Muth. That means diverting the river to restore damaged wetlands and doing our best to control exotic species.” (Read More)

How to Fix Louisiana’s Eroding Coast? These Designers Have a Plan.
By Steve Cochran (EDF), Environmental Leader. August 31, 2015
"Will Changing Course help the Mississippi River Delta region turn a corner? We think it might as it builds on a strong plan already in place. Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan includes innovative approaches for reconnecting the river with its dying delta. But it also asks how we could maximize the use of the river for restoration, while balancing the needs of a world class navigation system and improving flood control for the whole region.” (Read More)

Good Day CENLA (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
KALB. August 28, 2015
"The main progress is the development of a robust ambitious, but realistic, 50 year, 50 billion dollar plan for integrated coastal restoration and levee protection.” (Read More)

New Orleans Becoming the Next Atlantis?
By Romellaine Arsenio, HNGN. August 29, 2015
"If nothing is done over the next 15 years, another 300 to 500 square miles of Louisiana will disappear," John M. Barry, a historian and former member of one of greater New Orleans's levee boards has stated. "And loss will continue after that, turning New Orleans into a potential Atlantis with walls of levees holding back the sea.” (Read More)

Corps of Engineers is responsible for restoring wetlands destroyed by MR-GO: Editorial
By Editorial Board, The Times-Picayune. August 29, 2015
"It was the corps that built MR-GO and the corps that refused for so long to close it. It is the corps that must fix the grievous damage that was done.” (Read More)

Obama may back Louisiana use of offshore oil revenue for coastal restoration, state officials say
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. August 29, 2015
"The president was quite attentive in wanting to know what has worked, what is in progress, and what we need in order to continue implementing our coastal master plan so that Louisiana and its people can continue to live and work along the nation's most unique coast," Kline said. "I told the president that a streamlining of the federal approval process and the trimming of red tape would be of great help in implementing our Master Plan for a sustainable coast.” (Read More)

 

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 28, 2015

August 28, 2015 | Posted by jhebert in Latest News

Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 28, 2015

Katrina Spawns a Decade of Flood Protection Design and Construction
(Mentions MRD Coalition)
By Pam Radtke Russell, Engineering News-Record. August 25, 2015.
That buffering of the coastline is part of a “multiple lines of defense” strategy being promoted by a “Restore the Delta” coalition that is pushing to restore the coast for environmental reasons and to give the region more protection from hurricanes. (Read More)

Designing the Resilient Coast of the Future
(Mentions EDF, Changing Course)
By Kate Ascher & David Ven Der Leer
Such remarkably complex challenges require a process that develops multiple approaches, disciplines and a toolkit of solutions to guide the region’s future. In 2013, the international environmental nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, 120-year-old design competition organizer,Van Alen Institute, and multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm, BuroHappold Engineering, launched the international design competition Changing Course, bringing together some of the world’s leading engineers, coastal scientists, planners, and designers to tackle a crucial question raised by the state of Louisiana’s master planning process: how to restore and maximize the Mississippi River’s land-building capacities while maintaining a world-class navigation system and supporting and respecting the communities, industries and peoples of the coast. (Read More)  

Swallowed By The Sea
(Mentions EDF)
By Kris Allred, WSAV-TV
Experts with the Environmental Defense Fund say the area needs a very aggressive restoration program. Since the early 1990s, the government has spent billions on coastal works to slow the land loss. There’s been some success, but the ultimately the Gulf wins. Scientists have even tuned to the Netherlands for advice. It’s here where they have protected themselves from the sea with a network of dunes and floodgates. Only problem is, the Netherlands deal with a much milder sea. Hurricanes aren’t an issue. (Read More)

Decade after Katrina, efforts aim to restore Louisiana coast
(Features Steve Cochran)
By Randy Lee Lofts, Reposted in Hawaii Star Advertiser
Cochran, however, has detected a cooling of such recriminations in favor of work on common goals. He said he’s found big lessons that might apply anywhere big challenges involving humanity and nature appear. Look long term, he said. Use nature’s power as much as bricks and mortar. Learn to live with water instead of against it.

Ten years after Katrina, cities near New Orleans struggle with an eroding coast
(features Doug Meffert, NAS, Theryn Henkel, LPBF)
By Fusion’s America with Jorge Ramos
Since the storm hit ten years ago, 100 square miles of wetlands have vanished. Residents of coastal towns such as Dulac are worried for its future as the effects of Katrina continue to be felt.(Read More)

Will New Orleans Survive the Next Katrina? (Video)
features Doug Meffert, NAS
By Tim McDonnell, Grist August 26, 2015
Before the storm, hurricane protection and coastal restoration were treated as separate, or ever-competing, interests. Now, they're one and the same."Without Katrina, this wouldn't be happening," Dupre says. "We've gone from being the laughingstock to the model for the rest of the country." (Read More)

New Orleans still rebuilding 10 years after Hurricane Katrina
(features Doug Meffert, NAS)
By Fox 4 News – Kansas City
Doug Meffert with the Audubon Society shared what New Orleans has been doing and learned since Hurricane Katrina ripped through and destroyed portions of the city. Meffert also shared what the future of Louisiana looks as crews continue to rebuild the Gulf Coast. (Read More)

A Coastal Interview 10 Years After Katrina
(features Doug Meffert, NAS)
By KENS-5 CBS – San Antonio
Doug Meffert interviewed on coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana ahead of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.. (Read More)

Related News:

Ten Years After Katrina, Here's What's Happening to Louisiana's Coastline
(By Peter Moskowitz, Vice News)
It's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, crippling New Orleans and highlighting America's vulnerability to natural disaster. In the aftermath, a central question has been whether New Orleans — and other areas along the coast — can be rebuilt better, stronger, and more equitably. But with coastal development swallowing up wetlands, canal dredging by oil and gas companies ruining coastlines, and global warming pushing up sea levels, Gulf Coast residents are wondering whether the land on which they live will continue to exist at all. (Read More)

Judge: Corps must pay full $3 billion cost of restoring MR-GO wetlands
(By Mark Schleifstein, Times Picayune)
The Army Corps of Engineers must pay the full $3 billion cost of restoring wetlands destroyed by the agency's improper construction and maintenance of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a federal judge in New Orleans ruled Thursday (Aug. 27).(Read More)

New Orleans: The Hub of Water Management Innovation?
(By Nihal Shrinath and Allison Plyer, Stanford Social Innovation Review)
What may come as a surprise, however, is that New Orleans—a city that knows the destructive power of storm water better than any other—may just turn out to be the hub of water management innovation.(Read More)

In New Orleans, Waiting Out an Unfortunate Anniversary
(By Pam Radtke Russell, CQ Roll Call)
“But New Orleans’ go cup, as one engineer recently told me, is half full.While we, as New Orleanians, would prefer to have one filled to the rim, the system we have is better than what Miami, Boston, or even Washington, D.C., has.” (Read More)

The Katrina oil spill disaster: A harbinger for the Atlantic Coast?
(By Sue Sturgis, The Institute for Southern Studies: Facing South)
When Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast 10 years ago, it set off a disaster of many parts — and one of those parts was an oil spill catastrophe. In fact, Katrina turned out to be the worst U.S. oil spill disaster since the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska. The storm resulted in an estimated 8 million gallons of oil spilled onto the ground and into waterways from Louisiana to Alabama. Both of those incidents have since been surpassed by the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf, which affected some of the same areas as the Katrina spill.” (Read More)

The Katrina Disaster That Hasn’t Ended
(By Michael Grunwald, Politico)
“A decade later, the engineering problems have been addressed with a new state-of-the-art flood protection system around the city, and the Big Easy is much safer. The president was right to highlight the city’s impressive physical and economic recovery today, as well as the persistent challenges faced by low-income African-Americans in the Lower Ninth Ward where he spoke. But it should not be forgotten that Washington’s skewed priorities left the Lower Ninth underwater—and those priorities are still out of whack.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015 | Posted by jhebert in Latest News

Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (Video)
features John Lopez, LPBF & Simone Maloz, Restore or Retreat
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 26 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD. (View more).

Hurricane Katrina Anniversary: 3 Ambitious Plans To Save New Orleans From Climate Change
features Steve Cochran, EDF
By Maria Gallucci, International Business Times. August 26, 2015.
The three strategies are part of the Changing Course design competition run by regional and U.S. environmental groups. The winning teams — Baird & Associates, Moffatt & Nichol and Studio Misi-Ziibi — presented their plans Wednesday in New Orleans during a weeklong series of events on Louisiana’s post-Katrina recovery. (Read more)

Design Competition Winners Share Ideas for Saving Louisiana Coast
features Steve Cochran, EDF
By Pam Hunter, Engineering News-Record. August 25, 2015.
Three design-and-engineering teams unveiled their concepts for saving the lower Mississippi River Delta over the next 100 years at an Aug. 20 press conference in New Orleans… (Read more)

President Obama Prepares Visit to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
Statement by David Yarnold, NAS
“We are not going to protect our coastal communities from future Katrinas until we fix our main defenses—the vanishing coastal wetlands that buffer the winds and tidal surges of violent storms,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold (Read more)

Will New Orleans Survive the Next Katrina? (Video)
features Doug Meffert, NAS
By Tim McDonnell Mother Jones. August 26, 2015
Before the storm, hurricane protection and coastal restoration were treated as separate, or ever-competing, interests. Now, they're one and the same."Without Katrina, this wouldn't be happening," Dupre says. "We've gone from being the laughingstock to the model for the rest of the country." (Read More)

Lowcountry Live (Video)
features Doug Meffert, NAS
WCIV Charleston, SC. August 26, 2015
"Levees are only one line of defense. Multiple lines of defense are need to protect coastal communities from future storms.” (View Here)

Fox 18 Nine O’Clock News (Video)
features Doug Meffert, NAS
KLJB Davenport, IA. August 25, 2015
"Levees are only one line of defense. Multiple lines of defense are need to protect coastal communities from future storms.” (View Here)

Related News:
Rising Sea Level Threatens Coastal Restoration, New Orleans Levees, Scientists Say
by Mark Schleifstein, Times Picayune
“Even as Louisiana embarks on a multi-billion-dollar program to begin rebuilding its coast, evidence continues to mount that new coastal land will have to contend with a more rapid rise in sea level than projected in present state plans.” (Read more)

Katrina: Lasting Climate Lessons for a Sinking City
by Bobby Magill, Climate Central
“Katrina taught New Orleans and the Gulf Coast many lessons about how vulnerable the region is to natural disaster, especially to sea level rise and storm surge made worse by climate change. But a more complex, man-made problem also threatens New Orleans and it was captured in the indelible images taken in the aftermath of the hurricane, when miasmal flood waters submerged up to 80 percent of the city: as sea levels rise, the Crescent City is sinking.” (Read more)

Editorial: Help us continue our recovery, President Obama
by Editorial Board, Times Picayune
“Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is right, of course, that the outer continental shelf is owned by all Americans. But Louisiana and other Gulf states are the ones that have borne the environmental and infrastructure costs of energy production. Only now are we about to get a meaningful share of the lease revenues oil and gas companies pay to the federal government. And your administration wants to take it from us? Don't do that.” (Read more)

Our Views: President Obama Has Been a Friend to Louisiana — But Not In Fight to Save Coastline
by Editorial Board, The Advocate
“But Barack Obama proved to be a friend to Louisiana, rebuilding public housing in New Orleans and settling long-standing disputes in a way that enabled New Orleans and Louisiana to find bold and imaginative ways to replace public schools and our flagship public hospital. Which is why it is so disappointing to see a president who has been an ally turn against our state at a critical moment in the fight to save our vulnerable coastline.” (Read more)

Crop Dusters Seed Mangroves By Air To Save Louisiana Wetlands
by Jed Lipinksi, Times Picayune
“New Orleans-based Tierra Resources announced Wednesday (August 26) that a three-year pilot project, conducted in partnership with ConocoPhillips, succeeded in planting mangroves via crop-duster airplane at three one-acre sites in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.” (Read more)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 26, 2015

August 26, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Decade after Katrina, efforts aim to restore Louisiana coast
*features Steve Cochran, EDF
By Randy Lee Loftin, Dallas News. August 25, 2015
"What the Louisiana coast needs, just about everyone agrees, is multiple lines of defense against storms — starting with the ones nature put in place. Coastal wetlands help buffer big storms before they hit the mainland by absorbing some of the power of waves. Some research says storm surge, the dramatic rise in water levels pushed by hurricane winds, can be reduced by a foot for every mile of intact wetlands that greet the storm…” (Read More)

Wake Up with Al – The Wetlands and Hurricane Katrina (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
Wake Up with Al. August 26, 2015
"Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast more than $14.5 billion has been used to construct an upgraded levee system to better protect its residents and their property.
However, scientists say the best way to protect from future storms is with multiple lines of defense anchored by a restored coast, and they claim the coast is still facing significant land loss.” (Read More)

Will New Orleans Survive the Next Katrina?
By Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones. August 26, 2015
"Either way, the Louisiana coast is now a massive laboratory for the kinds of measures that coastal cities like New York and Miami will need to survive climate change. For Dupre, the stakes are clear: "If I'm not successful, my whole culture disappears." (Read More)

Designing the Resilient Coast of the Future
By Kate Ascher & David Van Der Leer, Next CIty. August 25, 2015
"Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath of the storm remains visceral to even the distant observer. Few people outside Louisiana, however, realize that the city’s future depends in large part on what happens some 80 miles to the southeast, where the Mississippi River meets the sea. Along this river, decades of infrastructure have crippled the Delta’s natural regenerative, land-building systems, withering its wetlands. With these protective lands diminished, Katrina’s surge rolled unstopped into the heart of New Orleans.” (Read More)

Help us continue our recovery, President Obama: Editorial
By Editorial Board, The Times-Picayune. August 26, 2015
"Our state has put together a $50 billion, 50-year master plan to rebuild barrier islands, marshland and beaches and strengthen flood protection. Louisiana voters passed a constitutional amendment dedicating future offshore royalties to coastal restoration. Fines from the BP spill also will be spent on restoration.
But the revenue-sharing money is a key component, and it has been distressing to see you suggest taking it away from us.” (Read More)

New Orleans safer after Katrina, but not safe: Our View
By Editorial Board, USA Today. August 25, 2015
"The major unfinished business is rebuilding the natural buffer between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, where wetlands, barrier islands and ridges once absorbed some of the force of hurricanes before they reached the city. Land built up over centuries by the natural flooding of the sediment-rich Mississippi River has been lost as levees tamed regular flooding and canals cut through the wetlands, helping turn them back into open water at the rate of a football field every hour, and 17 square miles every year.” (Read More)

Cajuns losing Louisiana island home to erosion
By Loic Hofstedt, Business Insider. August 25, 2015
"Over the years, the taming of the mighty Mississippi River slowed the influx of fresh sediment and water that once sustained the coastal delta. Then the oil and gas companies started cutting shipping and access channels that helped salt water from the Gulf of Mexico reach the fragile marshes. By the time Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005, the coast was already in deep trouble.” (Read More)

Aerial planting of mangrove seeds proving to be effective method of protecting struggling marshes in Louisiana
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. August 26, 2015
"Mangroves are good for stabilizing salt marsh areas because of their substantial root systems, some of which stick above ground like a cypress tree. These root structures not only offer stability to the plant against storm waves but also are good at trapping sediment to help the plants keep up with sea level rise, Day said.” (Read More)

New Orleans launches resilience roadmap to tackle climate and social challenges
By Tom Dart, The Guardian. August 26, 2015
"Conceived as a roadmap that highlights priority areas and seeks to close gaps in existing plans, the strategy proposes 41 actions designed to make the city more equitable, adaptable and prosperous, from promoting energy efficiency to enlarging the public transportation network to establishing personal emergency savings accounts to boosting resources to combat the erosion of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, which are a vital line of defense against severe weather.” (Read More)

 

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 25, 2015

August 25, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

10 Years After Katrina, Louisiana Is Becoming A Model For Climate Resilience
*features Doug Meffert, NAS, John Lopez, LPBF & Simone Maloz, ROR
By Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post. August 24, 2015
"But the most recent master plan, released in 2012, is a "masterpiece," Meffert said, based on sound science for what the region can expect as the climate changes and seas rise.”It did what no other master plan or general plan had done before — drew a map of Louisiana with projects that were impactful and doable, and it really for the first time put on the map what we could save," he said.” (Read More)
 
Closer than Ever to the Water’s Edge
By Maria Gallucci, International Business Times. August 24, 2015
"Regardless of human-made barriers, a healthier, thicker wetland zone would have diminished the force of the deadly storm surge. With this idea in mind, two years after Katrina, Louisiana launched a $50 billion Coastal Master Plan to help rebuild part of what’s been lost. The sweeping strategy outlines more than 100 projects for coastal restoration, including building rocky barriers to block saltwater intrusion, dumping replenishing river sediment on the banks of streams and building artificial oyster reefs to reduce erosion from waves and slow the spread of storm surge.” (Read More)
 
Editorial: From Katrina’s ruin: New Orleans strives to build a stronger city
By Editorial Board, Chicago Tribune. August 21, 2015
"The coastline around southern Louisiana also is eroding, and New Orleans is sinking. No surprise that "coastal restoration" is a hot topic, and we urge Landrieu to support more of it. New Orleans and other communities along the Gulf are poised to receive portions of an $18.7 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill. New Orleans and its neighbors should invest their shares strictly in coastal restoration efforts.” (Read More)
 
Good Morning New Orleans (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
WGNO. August 24, 2015
"Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast more than $14.5 billion has been used to construct an upgraded levee system to better protect its residents and their property.
However, scientists say the best way to protect from future storms is with multiple lines of defense anchored by a restored coast, and they claim the coast is still facing significant land loss.” (Read More)

Is New Orleans in danger of turning into a modern-day Atlantis?
By David Uberti, The Guardian. August 24, 2015
"It is estimated that every 2.7 miles of coastal wetlands absorbs a foot of storm surge. But over the past century, without seasonal flooding to nurture them with more sediment, land has eroded faster than the natural rate. Construction of thousands of miles of canals to serve offshore oil and gas drilling sites only accelerated this pace. Various scientific studies have suggested such manmade waterways directly or indirectly caused 30% or more of the wetland loss, allowing saltwater to creep in and kill plants whose roots keep the soil together.” (Read More)

Are New Orleans’ post-Katrina flood defenses strong enough? (video)
By William Brangham, PBS NewsHour. August 24, 2015
"Denise Reed says it’s not totally helpless. Scientists and engineers have figured out a way to rebuild the wetlands. And they do it by replicating the old Mississippi floods. Engineers cut huge gates into the levees along the river at certain spots, like this big concrete structure here. That allows freshwater and dirt to flood out into the weakened marshes along.” (Read More)

A Design to Stop Louisiana from Drowning by Adding Faucets to the Mississippi
By Adele Peters, Co.Exist. August 25, 2015
"It's also a solution that could work elsewhere. "We're creating a strategy here that could really become an international model for how to deal with sea level rise," Ford says. "Many of the major cities and ports in the world are in river delta locations, where there's an issue of resilience and storm surges. If New Orleans goes big and bold, and sets a different course for the next 50 years, it really could become a model for the world." (Read More)

Good Morning Washington (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
WNC8 – Washington,DC. August 24, 2015
"Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast more than $14.5 billion has been used to construct an upgraded levee system to better protect its residents and their property.
However, scientists say the best way to protect from future storms is with multiple lines of defense anchored by a restored coast, and they claim the coast is still facing significant land loss.” (Read More)

Fox 8 Morning Edition (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
WVUE. August 24, 2015
"Levees are only one line of defense. Multiple lines of defense are need to protect coastal communities from future storms.” (Read More)
 
Fox 26 News – Houston (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
KRIV. August 24, 2015
"You can see just how coastal New Orleans is. This used to be a thriving cypress swamp decades ago and it would have provided recreational fisheries and great habitat for birds, and it would have and did provide a natural line of defense, natural buffer, in terms of storm surge protection.” (Read More)

You & Me This Morning (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
WCIU – Chicago. August 24, 2015
"Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast more than $14.5 billion has been used to construct an upgraded levee system to better protect its residents and their property. However, scientists say the best way to protect from future storms is with multiple lines of defense anchored by a restored coast, and they claim the coast is still facing significant land loss.” (Read More)

News With a Twist/ WGNO News (video)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
WGNO. August 24, 2015
"The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition are advocating for a total of 19 restoration projects along the coast. The BP settlement money will jump start some of these projects, but looking forward, the projects are going to need long term funding. It will take a combination of federal, state, and private funding to make it happen.” (Read More)

Best-ever levee system is here to protect property, not lives, experts warn
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. August 25, 2015
"That sinking and erosion has also been removing the wetlands that once protected levees from punishment by the Gulf of Mexico’s waves. Some 2,000 square miles of coastal wetlands have been turned to open water since the 1930s, and more is being loss at the cumulative rate of a football field every hour. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that at those rates the remaining wetlands protecting the levees could be under water before the end of the century." (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

The Next Big One
By Chris Mooney, The Washington Post. August 21, 2015
"Louisiana has roughly 5,700 square miles of wetlands. If it keeps losing them at the current rate — estimated at a football field an hour — New Orleans could someday lie right up against the Gulf of Mexico, more exposed than ever to another natural disaster. And Nyman and many other coastal scientists say that wetland-building river diversions like the one at Pass a Loutre — only much bigger and much closer to the city — are critical to staving off that fate.” (Read More)
 
What Hurricane Katrina Taught Us about Fixing Louisiana
*features David Yarnold, NAS
By David Yarnold, Huffington Post. August 20, 2015
"If there's one thing we all learned from Katrina, it's that we waited too long. We have to invest in serious restoration of our coasts now. This is not just a Louisiana problem: It's the challenge of virtually every country on the globe that has a coastline.” (Read More)

Mississippi River Mouth Must Be Abandoned to Save New Orleans from Next Hurricane Katrina
*features Steve Cochran, EDF
By Mark Fischetti, Scientific American. August 20, 2015
"Extensive studies done after Katrina verified what lifelong residents of southeastern Louisiana already knew: Unless the rapidly disappearing wetlands are made healthy again, restoring the natural defense, New Orleans will soon lay naked against the sea. So, how does one reengineer the entire Mississippi River delta—one of the largest in the world—on which New Orleans lays?” (Read More)

Stopping a storm surge superhighway
*features John Lopez, LPBF
By Suzanne Zionts, AlJazeera America . August 18, 2015
"The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Canal known as MR-GO was designed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 20thcentury to be a shorter route between the Gulf of Mexico and the Port of New Orleans. Termed by critics as a storm surge superhighway during Katrina, the channel acted as a funnel pushing Katrina closer to the city center. The MRGO also caused a dramatic reduction of cypress swaps and wetlands which act as natural storm surge barriers for the city. Although the MRGO officially closed in 2009, New Orleans is still reeling from the wake of ecological destruction caused by the channel.” (Read More)

Coastal Restoration Designs Selected
*features Steve Cochran, EDF
By Eileen Fleming, WWNO. August 21, 2015
"Three coastal restoration plans have been selected in an international design contest kicked off two years ago by the Environmental Defense Fund. Plans call for multiple diversions, starting in Belle Chase, in varying locations for the next 100 years. The competition was called “Changing Course.” It centers on harnessing the power of the Mississippi River to spread its sediment over disappearing wetlands, and build back the land.” (Read More)

Policy: Hurricane Katrina’s lessons for the world
By Edward B. Barbier, Nature . August 19, 2015
"Louisiana's 50-year coastal-planning strategy represents a new way of thinking about the long-term management of coasts. Resilience is the new aim — against short-lived natural disasters that have immediate and often extreme impacts, such as flooding and storm surges, and against long-term climatic changes that have more gradual impacts, such as sea-level rise, saline intrusion and erosion.” (Read More)
 
Louisiana identifies tentative restoration projects for BP spill money
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. August 19, 2015
"A tentative list of projects that would be funded by $7.2 billion in BP oil spill fine and settlement money, including wetland-building sediment diversions from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, marsh creation projects using sediment moved by pipeline from rivers and the Gulf of Mexico, and the rebuilding of nine barrier islands and four coastal ridges, was announced by Louisiana officials on Wednesday (Aug. 19).” (Read More)
 
State agency refines list of projects under consideration for funding with Deepwater Horizon settlement money
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. August 20, 2015
"Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Executive Director Kyle Graham said the Wednesday list of projects was just the next step in determining what coastal projects could qualify for funding. “There’s a tremendous amount of additional work to get this defined,” Graham said.” (Read More)
 
Rebuilding New Orleans into America’s finest water city
By Han Meyer, The Guardian. August 20, 2015
"We believe there is potential for New Orleans to develop a relationship with its river delta that contributes to spatial, economic and social renewal that could power its regeneration. This includes the implementation of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, driving indirect and direct investment of up to $11bn and supporting as many as 100,000 new jobs.” (Read More)
 
Deepwater Horizon settlements helped Obama come through with wetlands restoration funding
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. August 20, 2015
"The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a shipping channel dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and long considered an economic and environmental blunder, was plugged in 2009. However, due to a funding dispute with the state, the corps has not followed through on a commitment to restore wetlands damage caused by the channel.” (Read More)
 
New Orleans needs you to help hold back the sea: John Barry
The Times-Picayune. August 21, 2015
"Our region has a chance to survive, even with sea level rise, and achieve 500-year flood protection. In fact, the metro area's levee system right now likely protects against a 500-year storm's "still-water" height, which is the surge without waves. Rebuilding land in front of levees can cut down the waves.
The state's master plan proposes a way to achieve this. The engineering required is difficult. The politics are more difficult — and only you readers can solve it.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 19, 2015

August 19, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

All Louisiana governor candidates support multibillion-dollar diversion plans to slow coastal land loss
By Cain Burdeau, The Advocate. August 19, 2015
"The candidates largely voiced similar approaches on what they see as the steps necessary to take. Each one backed a $50 billion, 50-year master plan devised by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration to slow land loss by diverting the Mississippi River’s mud and water into injured estuaries. The idea is to restore the river’s delta-building capacity. The river has been constrained by levees.” (Read More)

Gubernatorial candidates debate how to restore Louisiana’s endangered coastline (video)
*features CRCL
By Kevin Frey, WAFB. August 18, 2015
"The Louisiana gubernatorial candidates unanimously agreed Tuesday that restoring the state's coast and wetlands is an essential project for the years ahead. All four candidates met for a forum focused on coastal issues at Nicholls State University Tuesday afternoon. The event was put on by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.” (Read More)

Rebuilt confidence in New Orleans flood controls fuels rebuilding
*features John Lopez, LPBF
By Kathy Finn, Reuters. August 18, 2015
"The most important lesson we learned from Katrina was that hurricane protection and coastal restoration must be at the forefront of federal and state government for years to come.” (Read More)
 
New Orleans area’s upgraded levees not enough for next ‘Katrina,’ engineers say
*features David Muth, NWF
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. August 18, 2015
"Representatives of environmental groups have urged the inclusion of coastal restoration projects as another method of reducing storm surge, part of a "multiple lines of defense" strategy originally proposed by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.” (Read More)

Louisiana Check-up: Douglas Meffert (audio)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
By Alex Wise, Sea Change Radio. August 18, 2015
"As the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, we thought it would be an appropriate time to head back down to the bayou. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from the Executive Director of Audubon Louisiana, Dr. Douglas Meffert. We get an update on the coastal restoration efforts in the region, get a sense of how the cleanup from the BP Oil Spill is progressing and talk about the ongoing struggles and challenges of the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.” (Read More)

The Michelangelo Signorile Show on SiriusXM (audio)
*features Doug Meffert, NAS
The Gist, Michelangelo Signorile, SiriusXM. August 14, 2015
"Joining me today to discuss the importance of ongoing coastal restoration projects in the region and the improvements in protection made since the storms is Douglas Meffert the Executive Director of the Audubon Louisiana and Vice President of the National Audubon Society’s Restore the Mississippi River Delta campaign which is a is a joint effort of non-profit organizations made up of science, public policy, economics and outreach experts raising awareness and building support for science-based solutions to restore Louisiana’s coast and is comprised of the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.” (Read More)

Will the ‘Great Wall’ of New Orleans Save It From the Next Killer Hurricane?
By Todd Woody, Takepart. August 19, 2015
"The first line of defense is your barrier islands, your wetlands, your marshes, your good solid bottomland hardwoods,” says Boyett. “You’re starting to see marsh creation programs, and we’re using sediment from the Mississippi River to reinforce barrier islands. But we’re never going to reclaim everything that has been lost—it simply can’t be done.” (Read More)

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