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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

A tempting target: Louisiana stands to gain substantial funds for coastal projects, but the governor’s new coastal director warns against diverting those funds to other uses
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. July 28, 2015
"Coastal protection and restoration must be a centerpiece of any platform for a candidate running for governor or for the legislature,” Kline said. “We need to make sure whoever is in there, the administration does not miss a beat.” (Read More)
Louisiana’s physical footprint could by determined over next 10 years, coastal protection chair says
By David Jacobs, BR Business Report. July 27, 2015
"Kline urged lawmakers to make sure new funds designated for coastal protection and restoration remain in the state’s coastal trust fund and are used for the intended purposes. He also urged all candidates for governor and the Legislature to make coastal protection and restoration, including finding a permanent funding stream, a “centerpiece” of their campaigns.” (Read More)

State Senate committees discuss plans for spending $8.9 billion from BP oil spill
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 27, 2015
"State senators listened Monday (July 27) to initial plans for spending $8.9 billion that Louisiana will receive in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, explained by officials with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.” (Read More)

BP must pay local government settlements by Aug. 26, judge rules
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 27, 2015
"BP must complete its payments by Aug. 26 to local governments that have accepted settlement terms for losses experienced as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and ensuing 87-day release of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a federal judge ordered Monday (July 27).” (Read More)

Our Views: The BP settlement money ‘is going to bur holes in the pockets of elected bodies across Louisiana’
The Advocate. July 27, 2015
"The purists would doubtless hope that the BP money be spent entirely for coastal restoration and protection. We hope that across the state, including places like Baton Rouge far removed from direct impact of the oil spill, the money is spent for conservation purposes. But that will require pressure from the public, we suspect, to keep officials focused on the one-time nature of this windfall.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Learn La. governor candidates’ views on coast during public forum at Nicholls
*features Jimmy Frederick, CRCL & Simone Maloz, ROR
By Meredith Burns, Houma Courier. July 26, 2015
"This forum will hopefully underscore for all the candidates what a priority coastal protection and restoration is, not just for our region, but for the entire state. We also hope to highlight the need to safeguard the coastal funds for their intended uses, and to ensure the public is part of the decision-making process.” (Read More)
Louisiana, federal government argue over who pays for MR-GO restoration in court filings
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 26, 2015
"The state of Louisiana and the federal government continued their argument in federal court Wednesday (July 22) over who should pay the $2.9 billion cost of restoring wetlands destroyed by the construction and operation of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a now-closed shipping shortcut from the Gulf of Mexico to the Industrial Canal in New Orleans.” (Read More)

Common Ground Relief provides plants and volunteers for wetlands restoration
By Sheila Stroup, The Times-Picayune. July 25, 2015
"David Stoughton looks out at the expanse of Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge and smiles. We are watching volunteers plant green ash and willow saplings in the marshy soil not far from the entrance off U.S. 90 in eastern New Orleans.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

What Do Mayors from Tehran and New Orleans Have in Common? Climate Change.
By Natasha Geiling, Think Progress. July 22, 2015
"To combat the dangers of rising sea level and associated storm surge, New Orleans fortified its perimeter protections — levees, storm surge barriers, and dikes — in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The city also has a plan to restore ecologically important wetlands in the region by diverting rivers. These wetlands serve as a buffer between the Gulf and the city, and can help protect it against storm surge.” (Read More)
Treasurer Kennedy on the BP settlement
By Joe Hagan, WBRZ. July 22, 2015
"The state makes its living off the wetlands," said Kennedy. Let's spend this money to restore our wetlands and to rehabilitate the gulf, let's not waste it.” (Read More)

Mississippi River to crest Thursday – Monday at 15.7 feet in New Orleans
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 22, 2015
"The Mississippi River's unusually late summer 2015 crest is now scheduled to arrive in New Orleans at the Carrollton Gage on Thursday (July 23), at 15.7 feet above sea level. That water level is expected to last through Monday, according to the National Weather Service's Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Louisiana must safeguard BP settlement money for our coast: John Kennedy
By John Kennedy, The Times-Picayune. July 20, 2015
"With this BP money, we have in our hands a golden opportunity.  We didn't want this disaster to happen.  However, now we have the means to restore our wetlands and to safeguard this money for future generations.” (Read More)
Desperate $68 billion plan to save Louisiana, the sinking state, from going under
By Kate Schneider, July 21, 2015
"Given the importance of so many of south Louisiana’s assets — our waterways, natural resources, unique culture, and wetlands — the effects of this additional land loss and the increased risk of flooding would be catastrophic. We must take bold action now before it’s too late.” (Read More)
Use BP oil spill fine money for restoration, voters say
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 20, 2015
"An overwhelming majority of voters in coastal communities in Louisiana and other Gulf states continue to see the BP oil spill as a major problem and want oil spill fine money spent on restoration of natural resources, according to a nonpartisan poll released Thursday (July 16) by The Nature Conservancy and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.” (Read More)

Editorial: Coastal Restoration
By James Smith, KSLA News. July 20, 2015
"An overwhelming majority of voters in coastal communities in Louisiana and other Gulf states continue to see the BP oil spill as a major problem and want oil spill fine money spent on restoration of natural resources, according to a nonpartisan poll released Thursday (July 16) by The Nature Conservancy and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.” (Read More)

Predicting the shape of river deltas
By Jennifer Chu, MIT News. July 20, 2015
"Because there are so many people living on a river delta, you want to know what its morphology or shape will look like in the future,” Nienhuis says. “For the Mississippi, the river supplies a lot of sediment. But because there are a lot of dams on the Mississippi nowadays, there is not as much sand coming down the river, so people are very worried about how this delta will evolve, especially with sea-level rise, over the coming centuries.” (Read More)

Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Awards Two Projects to RES
Business Wire. July 21, 2015
"The State of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Agency has awarded two coastal restoration projects via competitive id to RES’ Ecological Restoration Services subsidiary: CPRA’s BA-141 NRDA Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation Increment II – Vegetative Plantings Project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and CS-33 Cameron Parish Shoreline Sand Fence Replacement Project.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

The $50 billion plan to save Louisiana’s wetlands
By Robert Boos, PRI. July 19, 2015
"Louisiana is in trouble. The Mississippi River Delta is disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 16 square miles a year, some of the fastest land loss on the planet. The bayou lands are crucial to the nation's fisheries, as well as regional oil and gas supplies. Perhaps ironically, activity by the energy industry is helping to destroy its own infrastructure.” (Read More)
Mississippi River reaches 15 feet at New Orleans, triggering more Corps levee restrictions
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 17, 2015
"The Mississippi River rose to 15 feet at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans on Friday (July 17), triggering additional "flood fight" procedures to be enforced by the Army Corps of Engineers.” (Read More)

Daily Mississippi River levee inspections have begun now that water level is on the rise, Corps of Engineers reports
The Advocate. July 20, 2015
"Water levels in the Mississippi River have reached a sufficient depth to cause the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin daily inspections of the levees from Baton Rouge to Venice. Inspectors will look for any problems on the levees, such as scouring or sand boils. In addition, construction projects within 1,500 feet of the levee system must be shut down, according to a Corps news release.” (Read More)

Funding sought for restoration project along Calcasieu Ship Channel
By Heather Regan-White, Southwest Daily News. July 20, 2015
"The project’s purpose is to reduce the amount of saline water in the channel flowing into adjacent wetlands, protect and restore the ecosystem and mitigate the damage to fish, wildlife and natural resources which rely on freshwater. The plan reports that, “reducing wetland loss will preserve areas of national interest including Cameron Prairie and Sabine National Wildlife Refuges.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 17, 2015

July 17, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

East bank levee authority approves $9.2 million in BP settlements
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 16, 2015
"The east bank levee authority agreed Thursday (July 16) to settle BP oil spill damage claims totaling $9.2 million, including $8.2 million for levee districts in East Jefferson, New Orleans and St. Bernard parishes. The other $1 million covers claims of the agency that regulates the non-flood protection assets of the Orleans Levee District.” (Read More)
Barrier island project wins key approval
By Keith Magill, Daily Comet. July 17, 2015
"A project to restore a barrier island that helps protect Terrebonne Parish from Gulf storm surges has received a key federal approval. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management last week authorized the state to take up to 13.4 million cubic yards of sand from Ship Shoal, a formation just south of the island, to use in the project. One cubic yard of sand weighs about 1 1/2 tons.” (Read More)
Poll shows Gulf Coast voters want BP settlement money spent on the environment
By John Sharp, July 16, 2015
" A new poll shows that an increasing majority of Gulf Coast voters support using the government's $18.7 billion settlement with BP on coastal restoration and conservation projects, and that more Republican voters than Democrats prioritize the spending on restoration over infrastructure.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 16, 2015

July 16, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Louisiana coastal board asks fed approval of 4 projects funded with BP spill fines
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 15, 2015
"The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday (July 15) asked the U.S. Department of Treasury to approve its plan to spend $39.4 million promised the state from fines related to the BP oil spill on four complex coastal restoration projects.” (Read More)
The BP settlement is only a down payment on the massive coastal restoration bill
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. July 15, 2015
"It’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the overall needs for the plan,” said Chris Dalbom, of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy. “The best-case scenario is this is all kind of seed money to get Master Plan projects going in earnest.” (Read More)
State to seek $38.3 million of some BP penalties for coastal restoration projects
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. July 16, 2015
"The state’s coastal authority approved sending a request for $38.3 million to the U.S. Department of Treasury for coastal restoration projects. The U.S. Department of Treasury is in charge of money paid directly to the five Gulf states affected by the disaster.” (Read More)
New Orleans area to see BP settlement money for years to come
By Don Ames, WWL. July 16, 2015
"Five billion dollars of that has to go towards restoring resources that were damaged by the oil spill," Shrinath says. "So, marsh creation projects are likely, as well as sediment diversions that might restore resources in that area.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 15, 2015

July 15, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Plaquemines Parish rejects BP settlement offer as too small
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. July 14, 2015
"Plaquemines Parish has turned down a settlement offer from BP to pay for damages caused during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill because it was too small to compensate for the losses, two lawyers representing the parish in settlement talks said Monday (July 13). (Read More)
Katrina 10th anniversary: connection future hurricanes to climate change
By Laurie Wiegler, Examiner. July 14, 2015
"Looking into the future, with sea level rise plus the Gulf coast losing its wetlands due to development and the sediment being cut off by the dams and channelization that the oil companies have done, …plus sea level rise, there is a real vulnerability. (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

The Birds of British Petroleum
*features Erik Johnson, NAS & David Muth, NWF
By David Gessner, Audubon Magazine. July – August 2015
"There are times you can’t be sure of much in the Gulf, but amid all the confusion, one thing is undeniable: Habitat is going away, and it is going away fast, the land sinking and sea rising like nowhere else on earth, to the point where organizations working in the region report that the Mississippi River Delta loses “a football field” of coastal wildlife habitat every hour. We are not talking about geological time here but about whole marshes and small islands that have disappeared since I last visited.(Read More)
Measure could aid local levee work
By Sean Ellis, Houma Courier. July 11, 2015
"The Army Corps of Engineers will have to comply with the same wetlands protection standards imposed on private property owners under a measure passed by the U.S. House. If the Senate approves the measure, the corps — instead of local levee districts — could be required to pay to repair wetlands damaged by building federally approved levees like Morganza-to-the Gulf in Terrebonne. (Read More)
Louisiana wetlands loss is blue crab’s gain; study to examine habitat
By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune. July 13, 2015
"Scientists will examine how the Louisiana blue crab population has remained relatively stable over the past two decades despite the massive changes in Louisiana's coastal landscape. The answer, it appears, is "submerged aquatic vegetation," or SAVs — underwater grass that apparently grows in patches where wetlands have been lost. (Read More)

$2 million BP offer accepted by West Bank levee authority
By Andrea Shaw, The Times-Picayune. July 13, 2015
" BP's $2 million offer to the West Bank levee authority, to resolve claims stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil disaster, was accepted Monday (July 13). The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West board of commissioners approved the settlement during a special meeting at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in Algiers. (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

State works on plan to help keep saltwater from moving into Terrebonne Parish
*featuring Simone Maloz, ROR
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. July 13, 2015
"The real story is that it prevents the loss of 15,000 acres,” said Simone Theriot Maloz, executive director of the coastal group Restore or Retreat. “We are not even talking about creating land; we’re talking about holding the line.(Read More)
Which cities will feel the effects of climate change the most?
By Michele Berger, The Weather Channel. July 13, 2015
"New Orleans is losing ground, fast: Almost 1,900 square miles have disappeared in less than a century. This threatens the region’s people and places. “Large numbers of cities, roads, railways, ports, airports, oil and gas facilities and water supplies [in Louisiana] are at low elevations and potentially vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise,” notes a White House Fact Sheet. “New Orleans, with roughly half of its population living below sea level, is especially at risk.(Read More)

Opinion: What BP Taught Takata
*featuring Steve Cochran, EDF
By Joe Nocera, The New York Times. July 10, 2015
"BP also committed to spending $1 billion on restoration of natural resources, $179 million for a tourism campaign, $500 million for scientific research, block grants to Gulf Coast states, and on and on. Handing over that early restoration money was something “the company didn’t have to do,” notes Steve Cochran of the Environmental Defense Fund.(Read More)

Lafourche agencies receive $36.3 million in BP oil spill
By Maki Somosot, The Daily Comet. July 11, 2015
"Lafourche's coastal restoration projects will benefit greatly from a large share of the $6.8 billion Louisiana is expected to receive from the global $18.7 billion settlement to five states and the federal government," Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph added.(Read More)

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