Archive for Latest News

Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Nov. 6, 2015

November 6, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Louisiana's 50-year coastal master plan seen as $71 billion short
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Nov. 6, 2015.
"Louisiana's projections for funding its 50-year master plan for coastal restoration and hurricane storm surge protection are at least $71 billion short of the inflation-adjusted $91.7 billion price tag, according to a study released Friday (Nov. 6) by the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy…" (read more).

BP engineer involved in 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill expected to change plea
By Patrick Torphy, The Christian Science Monitor. Nov. 6, 2015.
"A former BP engineer implicated in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is expected to change his plea at a hearing in Federal court on Friday, possibly resolving a three-year legal battle. Kurt Mix is expected to appear before US District Judge Standwood Duval on Friday morning in New Orleans. He had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of obstruction of justice…" (read more).

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Nov. 5, 2015

November 5, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

$15 million from BP settlement goes to Jefferson coastal work
By Diana Samuels, The Times-Picayune. Nov. 4, 2015.
"Jefferson Parish's coastal communities will get at least $15 million — and possibly as much as $60 million — for flood protection and coastal restoration. Breaking a months-long stalemate, the Parish Council voted unanimously Wednesday (Nov. 4) to divide about $35 million in BP settlement money it received for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil disaster…" (read more).

Levee taxes are essential to keeping us safe from storms: Editorial
By The Editorial Board, The Times-Picayune. Nov. 4, 2015.
"The greater New Orleans area has significantly better storm protection today than when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 and levees were overwhelmed. There is still more work to be done, though, and the levees, pumps and other flood projects built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the past decade must be maintained…" (read more).

Report attempts to provide information to help manage cypress forests along Louisiana’s coast
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Nov. 4, 2015.
"Sinking land and rising seas have presented immense challenges for cypress forests along Louisiana’s coast, and landowners must decide how to manage their land, including whether to harvest their trees when areas may be too flooded to support new growth…" (read more).

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Nov. 4, 2015

November 4, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Mississippi's Gold Dust: Can Sediment Save Louisiana's Disappearing Coastline?
By Richard Grant, Al Jazeera America. Nov. 1, 2015.
"A hulking old engineering boat moves slowly up the mile-wide Mississippi River. The Dredge Jadwin operates like a gigantic vacuum cleaner, sucking up sediment from the riverbed and spewing it out to the side through a long pipe. “For us, sediment it’s basically a problem,” says Randy Stockton, master of the Jadwin, built in 1933. “It clogs up the shipping channel. It silts in the river ports. The more of it there is, the harder we work to move it. But down on the coast this stuff is like gold dust.”…" (read more).

Study: Reproduction of dolphins hurt by BP oil spill
By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press. Nov. 3, 2015.
"NEW ORLEANS – Dolphins living in a Louisiana bay polluted by BP's massive 2010 offshore oil spill have had a very difficult time giving birth long after their bay was covered in slicks, a new study shows…" (read more).

Plan to fix coastline would cut off Plaquemines, lower coast
By Dennis Woltering, WWL-TV. Nov. 3, 2015.
"NEW ORLEANS — As erosion robs Louisiana of a football field of coastline an hour, the land is sinking and the sea is rising. “The delta is consolidating and shrinking,” said Jonathan Hird of Moffatt & Nichol…" (read more).

Design competition finalists would abandon coastal communities
By Jacob Batte, The Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.). Oct. 31, 2015.
"The future of some Louisiana coastal communities would be in doubt under proposals produced as part of an environmental design competition under consideration by the state…" (read more).

Study suggests Louisiana coastal communities may not exist in 50 to 100 years
By Andy Cunningham, WDSU. Oct. 29, 2015.
"New Orleans and the region is protected by one of the most advanced flood control systems on the planet. But not even that, according to some scientists, will be enough to keep the Gulf of Mexico at bay forever…" (read more).

Congressional delegation opposes 'land grab'
By Jacob Batte, The Houma Courier. Oct. 30, 2015.
"Louisiana's entire congressional delegation signed a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers expressing “serious concern” over an attempt to turn nearly 500 acres of sugar­cane fields and swamps into wetlands…" (read more).

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Land-building work in coastal Jefferson Parish touted in new video
By Andrea Shaw, The Times-Picayune. October 29, 2015
"A pipeline pumping Mississippi River sediment 12 miles between Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes is building land along the coast to protect southeast Louisiana, officials say. The results are the subject of a new video that officials hope will help win a $110 million federal grant for the next phase of the project.” (Read More)
Jefferson’s BP settlement should go to levee protection for Lafitte: Editorial
By Editorial Board, The Times-Picayune. October 30, 2015
"Using a large portion of the BP money to match state and federal grants for coastal projects is the smart thing to do. It would send a message to state and federal officials that the parish is willing to do its part to improve flood protection.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 29, 2015

October 29, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Fisherman disagree on whether Mississippi River diversions will improve coastal life in Louisiana
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. October 27, 2015
"Capt. Ryan Lambert, of Cajun Fishing Adventures, said existing diversions off the river offer some of the best fishing in Louisiana and are proven to build land even when the water flow is small. It’s very hard for me to sit back and listen to someone say the Mississippi River is poison,” Lambert said. “I work in the diversions every day.” (Read More)
Lafourche’s oil spill money to go to coastal restoration
By Meredith Burns, Houma Courier. October 28, 2015
"The plan sets aside money to design and permit 5,500 acres of marsh creation along La. 1 east of Leeville, 1,650 acres of marsh creation to the southwest of Catfish Lake, 11,000 acres of marsh creation from Belle Pass to Golden Meadow on the west side of La. 1, a freshwater reintroduction project that should increase the flow of freshwater down the Atchafalaya River into Grand Bayou Canal, and a long-distance sediment pipeline connecting to the Mississippi River.” (Read More)
Louisiana gets $4 million from Transocean for oil spill
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. October 28, 2015
"Louisiana has received $4 million from Transocean under an out-of-court settlement by Gulf Coast states of remaining damage claims against the company for its role in the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, state officials said Wednesday (Oct. 28).” (Read More)
What should be the economic development priorities for Louisiana’s next governor?
By Greg LaRose, The Times-Picayune. October 28, 2015
"St. Bernard is extremely sensitive to the importance of coastal restoration. Coastal restoration is mandatory to ensure long-term prosperity. We support a smart, thoughtful and balanced approach to coastal restoration.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Feds appeal $3 billion MR-GO restoration ruling against the Army Corps of Engineers
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. October 26, 2015
"The U.S. Justice Department on Monday appealed a New Orleans federal judge's decision that 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 shipping shortcut.” (Read More)
A key coastal restoration vote
Commentary, Gambit. October 27, 2015
"As the race to succeed Jindal enters the runoff phase, both remaining candidates should commit to dedicating all of the BP settlement funds to the Master Plan. CPRA's vote last week to advance two key sediment diversion projects shows that the plan is more than just a concept — it holds the key to saving coastal Louisiana. Louisiana needs to fund it as fully and as quickly as possible.” (Read More)
Coastal compromise a good way forward
Editorial, Houma Courier. October 26, 2015
"The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority had a chance to direct a small portion of BP oil spill fine money toward a vital infrastructure project in south Lafourche. Instead, it did something better: It preserved the ideal of using the BP fine money for the coast while giving the La. 1 elevation project a way to pursue some money from the state.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 23, 2015

October 23, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Coastal update a good tool for candidates
*features Restore or Retreat
Editorial, Houma Courier. October 22, 2015
"If there is one overriding issue that affects nearly every other here in south Louisiana, it is coastal restoration. Coastal restoration plays a role in everything from economic development to flood risk to building codes.So if there is one topic that should be front and center for public officials and those who wish to be public officials, that is it.” (Read More)
Will sediment diversions destroy Louisiana’s fisheries?
By Todd Masson, The Times Picayune. October 22, 2015
"Proponents say the diversions will restore the delta area to its more natural state, before humans constructed levees to channel the Mississippi to the Gulf. Fisheries, they say, will be altered but not harmed. Estuarine fish may seasonally relocate, but they'll return when river levels retreat in the summer and fall.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 22, 2015

October 22, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Compromise struck on La. 1 elevation project funding; showdown vote on coastal restoration spending avoided
*features Steve Cochran, EDF & MRD statement
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. October 21, 2015
"The resolution presented today is an example of diverse coastal interests working together cooperatively on practical solutions that can help ensure a viable future for our delta and other vital coastal areas, our communities, and the economic activities that serve the state and nation,” according to a joint statement from the foundation and coalition.” (Read More)

La. 1 bridge deal: 10% of offshore revenue OK for infrastructure
*features MRD
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times Picayune. October 21, 2015
"Environmental groups and others have opposed a proposal, backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, to spend any BP fine money left over from coastal restoration work on La. 1. Critics say the BP fine money is intended for coastal restoration and should be spent only for that purpose.” (Read More)

Coastal agency votes against using BP restoration funds on bridge to oil port
*features MRD
By Cain Burdeau, AP, The Republic. October 21, 2015
"In the weeks leading up to Wednesday's meeting, several national environmental groups, candidates running for governor and members of the CPRA board warned against allowing the BP funds to be used for the bridge. Environmental groups even paid for newspaper advertising to denounce the idea.” (Read More)

AP story also in:
The Washington Times
Sun Herald
San Francisco Gate
Coastal Compromise (video)
*features Steve Cochran, MRD
By John Snell, WVUE FOX 8. October 21, 2015
 (See video)
Compromise reached on funding plan for La. 1 elevation
*features MRD statement
By Jacob Batte, Houma Courier. October 21, 2015
"Environmental groups and others have opposed a proposal, backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, to spend any BP fine money left over from coastal restoration work on La. 1. Critics say the BP fine money is intended for coastal restoration and should be spent only for that purpose.” (Read More)
Historic vote moves 2 Mississippi River sediment diversions toward construction
By Mark Schliefstein, The Times Picayune. October 21, 2015
"The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday (Oct. 21) voted to allow its staff to begin engineering and design work necessary to begin building at least two major diversions of Mississippi River sediment and water to restore wetlands in the Barataria Basin and Breton Sound, possibly as early as July 2019.” (Read More)

Mississippi River diversions at the Breton and Barataria sounds win approval Wednesday from state board
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. October 21, 2015
"Planned diversion projects designed to take sediment from the Mississippi River to build marsh near the Breton and Barataria sounds won approval from a state coastal board Wednesday — a vote that means this long-desired work will finally move beyond planning.” (Read More)

Coastal protection leaders agree to ‘compromise’ on restoration, infrastructure (video)
By James Sparvero, WAFB. October 21, 2015
"Leaders said Wednesday at the Louisiana State Capitol that the new plan will pay for the bridge with offshore oil money and not at the expense of saving the state's eroding coast. A previous plan from the Governor's Office called for spending BP money on the project.” (Read More)

State moves forward with 2 river diversion projects (video)
By John Snell, WVUE FOX 8. October 21, 2015
"Louisiana is moving ahead with plans to divert the Mississippi River's sediment and freshwater below New Orleans. On Wednesday, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, a panel overseeing coastal work in south Louisiana, voted to continue work on the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton river diversion projects.” (Read More)

State Approves Two Mississippi River Diversions
By Tegan Wendland, WWNO. October 21, 2015
"The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is going forward with plans to re-route parts of the Mississippi’s flow into two bays, just south of New Orleans. They say the silt and mud from the river will help create and maintain about 47,000 acres of land over the next 50 years.” (Read More)

State coastal authority Oks two diversions, but construction unlikely for three years
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. October 21, 2015
"The head of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has long said his agency would recommend building controversial river sediment diversions only if research showed that possible gains in wetlands and storm protection was greater than any harm caused to the fishing industry.” (Read More)

Concerns Over CPRA Compromise on La 1 Continue
By Sue Lincoln, WRKF. October 22, 2015
"The proposal was approved by the CPRA without objection, although not everyone was pleased. State representative Ray Garofalo of Chalmette said, “I’m not arguing against this kumbayah moment, but at the same time I think it’s very important that I go on the record and state that I think this money should all be dedicated to coastal restoration and protection.” (Read More)

Key vote expected Wednesday on proposal to use extra coastal restoration funding on La. 1
*features MRD
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. October 20, 2015
"Coastal groups cried foul, saying the state has maintained for years that the money derived from civil penalties as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster would go toward projects in the state’s master plan for coastal restoration and protection even though infrastructure projects are an allowable use of the money. Coastal advocates agree that the elevation of La. 1 is critical but say funding needs to come from other sources.” (Read More)
Sediment diversions, La. 1 bridge on Wednesday coastal authority agenda
*features CRCL, MRD
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times Picayune. October 20, 2015
"Our state finally has significant funding to address coastal issues. But we will still need a national commitment and partnership with the federal government to access the tens of billions of additional dollars we do not have," the statement said.  "If we as a state choose to divert money meant for the coast to another purpose, we will demonstrate that the state of Louisiana cannot be trusted to be responsible stewards, and therefore is not worthy of a federal commitment.” (Read More)
Letters: Funds provided by the RESTORE Act should go to coastal restoration and nothing else
*features Polly Glover, CRCL executive board
By Polly Glover, The Advocate. October 20, 2015
"The politics of old in Louisiana has clearly reared its ugly head once again. The citizens of our state need to tell Jindal and the CPRA that enough is enough. Don’t divert and steal funds from our coast to fund other state projects and fill budgetary gaps. Our children will ultimately inherit our coastal crisis.” (Read More)

Our views: The elevation work on Louisiana Highway 1 is needed, but not at the expensive of coastal restoration funds
By The Advocate. October 20, 2015
"To rob coastal restoration funds for a road project would signal that the coastal money can be diverted for other public works, the candidates said. We agree that it’s a bad precedent as future governors plead for assistance on coastal restoration.” (Read More)
Water Institute of the Gulf receives $4 million to fund research for Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan
By Ryan Broussard, BR Business Report. October 21, 2015
"Over the next year to 18 months, the Water Institute of the Gulf will begin doling out $4 million it has received from the Office of Gulf Coast Restoration to researchers helping implement the state’s Coastal Master Plan.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Candidates for governor, treasurer oppose move to divert coastal restoration funds to cover La. 1 construction costs
*features MRD
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. October 16, 2015
"Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to use excess Deepwater Horizon settlement money to construct an elevated section of La. 1 in southern Lafourche Parish is opposed by all four candidates seeking to take over his job.” (Read More)

Details of BP settlement show oil spill caused trillions of marine wildlife deaths
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. October 16, 2015
"When news broke this month that oil giant BP had agreed to pay $20.8 billion in fines for its Deepwater Horizon disaster, the figure seemed huge. But when placed against the number of fish and wildlife deaths BP has conceded its spill caused, the figure fades almost to insignificance.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: October 16, 2015

October 16, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Stop Gov. Jindal from spending BP fines on a bridge: A letter to the editor
*features CRCL Board Chairs, Pierre Conner & Wally Gundlach
By Letters to the Editor, The Times-Picayune. October 15, 2015
"We are writing to oppose Gov.  Bobby Jindal's attempt to back-peddle on his commitment to preserve coastal funds for coastal restoration by funding a highway project using Restore Act funds. As lifelong outdoorsmen with deep roots across Louisiana, we understand the urgency of coastal restoration. We have seen firsthand how quickly we are losing land.” (Read More)

Spending $16.5 billion BP spill money will require careful planning, officials say
*features David Muth, NWF
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. October 15, 2015
"With $16.5 billion in BP oil spill money about to be funneled into dozens of environmental restoration projects in Louisiana and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, there's a danger that money will be lost or projects delayed by a lack of planning at the local, state and federal level, a coastal engineer and a representative of a national environmental group said Thursday (Oct. 15).” (Read More)

The Federal Government Says Billions of Animals Died From the BP Disaster
*features David Muth, NWF
By Matt Smith, Vice News. October 15, 2015
"What we have been saying, and what a lot of others have been saying for the last five years, is that the damage was extensive, and many, many, many resources — birds and mammals and turtles — were severely affected by the spill," said David Muth, the Gulf restoration program director for the National Wildlife Federation. "That's borne out by the fact that BP agreed to an $8 billion settlement, which is unprecedented.” (Read More)

Feds, state show off Caminada restoration to celebrate 25 years of coastal restoration program
By Mark Schliefstein, The Times-Picayune. October 14, 2015
"Thousands of pounds of sand from the Gulf of Mexico spewed from a pipe Wednesday (Oct. 14) onto the re-growing beach and dunes that makes up the Caminada Headlands, the southernmost edge of Jefferson and Lafourche parishes that protects both rich wetlands just to its north and the nationally important Port Fourchon, jumping off point for deepwater drilling.” (Read More)

Q&A on coastal restoration with the candidates for governor
*features Changing Course
By Cain Burdeau,AP,  KATC. October 15, 2015
"The Associated Press asked the four major candidates for governor – the three Republicans, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Democrat John Bel Edwards – questions about how they would approach restoring Louisiana's badly damaged coast should they become the next Louisiana governor.” (Read More)

Wetlands being rebuilt in Plaquemines via privately funded project
By Rob Masson, WVUE-FOX8. October 15, 2015
"It's a first of it's kind project, just below Belle Chasse. Dozens of acres of new wetlands are being created in an area, that was once thriving, thanks to a unique new approach that could be implemented in other damaged coastal areas.” (Read More)

Cooperation is key to federal program to save coast
By Meredith Burns, Houma Courier. October 14, 2015
"We’ve learned that for the comprehensive coastal protection and restoration program to be successfully administered and implemented, the whole federal, state and local entities, or the whole spectrum, have to work together as a team, and that’s what CWPPRA has allowed us to do.” (Read More)

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