Archive for Latest News


Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 14, 2016

January 14, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

New state coastal restoration adviser wants to review sediment diversion plans
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 13, 2016.
*features David Muth, National Wildlife Federation and Steve Cochran, Environmental Defense Fund
"Gov. John Bel Edwards' new coastal adviser, Johnny Bradberry, has asked for a new review of the effects of proposed, major sediment diversions on fisheries and oysters and the fishers whose economic livelihood depend on those resources…" (read more)

More should be done for wildlife displaced by Bonnet Carre Spillway opening, Humane Society says
By Todd Masson, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 13, 2016.
"At its regular monthly meeting Thursday, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ordered the closure of deer season in the Bonnet Carre Spillway with the opening of the bays that regulate water flow from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain…" (read more)

U.S. Corps of Engineers flood protection study no longer includes mandatory buyouts in southwest Louisiana; coastal officials relieved
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 13, 2016.
"To the relief of some state coastal board members, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday that a study on how to provide coastal restoration and flood protection to southwest Louisiana no longer includes mandatory buyouts of any property…" (read more)

US: LEGISLATION PAVES WAY FOR BAYOU RESTORATION PROJECT
By Dredging News Online. Jan. 14, 2016.
"US Senator David Vitter (R-La.) has announced that Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana will be receiving a grant of US$23,737,478 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the restoration of Oyster Bayou Marsh in Cameron Parish…" (read more)

Proposed 2017 coastal restoration, levee budget is $687M
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 12, 2016.
"Louisiana would spend $687 million on coastal restoration and levee projects in fiscal year 2017, with 60 percent of the money going to construction, according to a draft coastal annual plan to be presented to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday (Jan. 13)…" (read more).

High water is still a danger
By Editorial Board Staff, The Houma Courier. Jan. 13, 2016.
"Residents across Louisiana are nervously watching the swollen rivers, hoping that we escape the current conditions with little or no damage to people or property…" (read more)

Edwards: Levees remain strong, containing rising river
By Greg Hilburn, Gannett. Jan. 13, 2016.
"VIDALIA — Gov. John Bel Edwards expressed confidence Wednesday that the rising Mississippi River will be contained within its levees after taking an aerial tour from Vidalia to Morgan City…" (read more)

Corps noting areas that need attention on Mississippi River levee; list is much shorter than 2011 flooding
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 13, 2016.
"Before the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers even reach their crests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is compiling a list of repairs that will need to be done before spring flooding occurs in a few months…" (read more)

State, local officials push for $100 million floodgate near Morgan City
By Jacob Batte, The Daily Comet. Jan. 13, 2016.
"Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to ask President Barack Obama to expedite a declaration of emergency and federal reimbursements to help pay for a temporary flood control project in Bayou Chene…" (read more)

Around-the-clock levee inspections begin ahead of Mississippi River crest in Baton Rouge
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 12, 2016.
"The Pontchartrain Levee District started 24-hour patrols of levees Tuesday, including those going through East Baton Rouge Parish, less than a week before the Mississippi River is expected to reach its crest of 43.5 feet…" (read more).

Aerial video: See rushing water, big crowds at Bonnet Carre Spillway opening
By The Advocate. Jan. 12, 2016.
"Hundreds gathered at the massive Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish on Sunday morning to watch as it was opened for the first time in four years…" (read more)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 12, 2016

January 12, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Mississippi floods’ silty lining
By Eric Wolff, Politico Morning Energy. Jan. 11, 2016.
*features Doug Meffert, National Audubon Society
"The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre spillway north of New Orleans to protect nearby communities from Mississippi flood waters yesterday, but the move could offer a side benefit: the influx of silt could help buttress the Louisiana's withering wetlands…" (read more)

Morganza Floodway will not be opened, Corps of Engineers decides
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 11, 2016.
"The Morganza Floodway, designed to divert a portion of the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya River Basin, need not be opened to reduce the Mississippi's flow to safe levels this month between the floodway and the Bonnet Carre Spillway, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday (Jan. 11). 'The latest information indicates that the river crest can be safely passed through south Louisiana without operation of the Morganza control structure,' said Major Gen. Michael Wehr, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley Division…" (read more)

Corps predicts Morganza spillway opening not needed to control flood conditions along the Mississippi River
By Amy Wold, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 11, 2016.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported Monday that it won’t need to use the Morganza Control Structure because the flow of water in the Mississippi River isn’t expected to be strong enough to trigger the opening…" (read more)

BP oil spill: Should BP pay firms hurt by the 2010 federal drilling ban?
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 11, 2016.
"A federal judge is expected to approve the $20 billion settlement over damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in coming weeks, finalizing the agreement reached in October 2015 after years of legal battle between the federal government and BP…" (read more)

Eyes in the Sky: Green Groups Are Harnessing Data from Space
By Jacques Leslie. Yale Environment 360. Jan. 11, 2016.
"An increasing number of nonprofit organizations are relying on satellite imagery to monitor environmental degradation. Chief among them is SkyTruth, which has used this data to expose the extent of the BP oil spill, uncover mining damage, and track illegal fishing worldwide…" (read more)

Refineries, plants prepare for high water
By Ted Griggs, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 11, 2016.
"With the memory of 2011’s flooding still fresh, Baton Rouge- and New Orleans-area refineries and chemical plants are lining up generators, pumps and sandbags to cope with the deluge of water surging down the Mississippi River…" (read more)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 11, 2016

January 11, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Bonnet Carre Spillway opens Sunday to praise, warnings
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 10, 2016.
*features Steve Cochran, Environmental Defense Fund
"Cranes atop the weir separating the Mississippi River from the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco began pulling long creosoted timber "needles" from the first of 350 bays at about 10:45 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 10), part of a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the river's flow as it moves past New Orleans by directing part of its water into Lake Pontchartrain…" (read more)

‘It’s an engineering miracle’: Bonnet Carre Spillway opens Sunday, the earliest opening in its 85-year history
By Katy Reckdahl, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 10, 2016.
*features John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
"Hundreds of people clad in caps and heavy coats gathered at the massive Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish on Sunday morning to watch as it was opened for the first time in four years…" (read more)

New Orleans Prepares For Mississippi River Flooding
By Tegan Wendland, WWNO. Jan. 9, 2016.
*features John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
"All eyes in Louisiana are on the Mississippi River. Floods that swept the Midwest are headed south, and that will test the levee system in Louisiana. Tegan Wendland at member station WWNO reports that the Army Corps of Engineers has amped up its flood-fighting efforts to protect the city of New Orleans…" (read more)

What the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening means for Lake Pontchartrain
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 8, 2016.
*features David Muth, National Wildlife Federation
"The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway at 10 a.m. Sunday by the Army Corps of Engineers will kick off a variety of efforts to track the environmental effects of nutrient-rich Mississippi River water that will flow into Lake Pontchartrain, freshening both the lake, and adjacent Lake Borgne and the Mississippi Sound…" (read more)

Corps of Engineers opens Bonnet Carre Spillway Sunday in response to early flood conditions
By Katy Reckdahl, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 10, 2016.
"On Sunday morning, crowds gathered at the massive Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish to watch its official opening. Two cranes moved along the railway tracks that top the flood-control structure and removed some of the structure’s 7,000 wooden “needles,” allowing water from the swollen Mississippi River to bypass New Orleans…" (read more)

Mississippi River Flooding: Louisiana's Bonnet Carre Spillway Opened
By Sean Breslin, The Weather Channel. Jan. 10, 2016.
"Due to trillions of gallons of water flowing down the Mississippi River from historic flooding in Missouri and surrounding states, officials in Louisiana decided to open a spillway to keep that water from pouring into parts of New Orleans…" (read more)

History behind Bonnet Carré Spillway, look back at when it has opened
By Margaret Orr, WDSU News. Jan. 10, 2016.
"NEW ORLEANS —The Mississippi River at the Carrollton gage is 16.18 feet Sunday morning. It will hit 17 feet Monday, and will remain at that stage for a while — and that is with the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway…" (read more)

Bonnet Carre spillway is opened to help protect New Orleans
By The Associated Press. Jan. 10, 2016.
"NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday opened the Bonnet Carre (BAH-nee KAR-ee) Spillway for the first time in nearly five years, diverting water into Lake Pontchartrain to decrease the flow of the swollen Mississippi River near New Orleans…" (read more)

As the river water recedes, calls for new approaches rise
By Stephen Deere and Jacob Barker, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jan. 10, 2016.
"'They said it would never flood again,' she said. But three days of pounding rain last month exposed the dubious nature of making such promises amid changing weather patterns, urban sprawl and new levees… (read more)

Hunters prepare for possible opening of the Morganza Spillway
By Kevin Frey, KSLA News. Jan. 10, 2016.
"Hunters in the Morganza Spillway are preparing for the possible flooding that would occur if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the spillway structure operational…" (read more)

Bonnet Carre slated to open Sunday; Morganza on hold
By Joe Macaluso, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 9, 2016.
"With water levels in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers reaching record January levels, the Corps of Engineers announced a planned Sunday opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, but its plans to pull the pins on the Morganza Floodway’s bays remained uncertain as of Saturday afternoon…" (read more).

Louisiana National Guard building levees to protect Morgan City, patrolling other areas
By Juan Sanchez, WDSU News. Jan. 9, 2016.
"MORGAN CITY, La. —To help prevent backwater flooding from reaching Morgan City, the Louisiana National Guard is building more than two miles of levees on Avoca Island…" (read more).

Mississippi River flood forecast: south Louisiana residents hoping for the best, preparing for the worst
By Richard Burgess and Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 8, 2016.
"As the slug of water from upriver rains late last year continues to travel down the Mississippi River, people in south Louisiana are getting sandbags in place, cleaning out their camps and generally getting ready for the possibility that the Morganza Spillway could be opened early next week…" (read more)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 8, 2016

January 8, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Bonnet Carre Spillway to open 10 a.m. Sunday
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 7, 2016.
"The Army Corps of Engineers will begin opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish at 10 a.m. Sunday morning to reduce the level of the Mississippi River in New Orleans, so its flow does not exceed 1.25 million cubic feet per second in New Orleans, corps officials confirmed late Thursday…" (read more)

Spillway may be opened Monday, increasing local flooding threat
By Meredith Burns, The Houma Courier. Jan. 7, 2016.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could open the first gate of the Morganza Spillway on Monday, increasing the flooding threat for at least five parishes, including western Terrebonne and parts of Lafourche…" (read more)

Army Corps of Engineers to open Bonnet Carré Spillway on Sunday
By Clint Durrett, WDSU News (New Orleans). Jan. 7, 2016.
"NEW ORLEANS —Due to heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising Mississippi River water stages and flow, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will open the Bonnet Carré Spillway on Sunday…" (read more)

The Latest: Corps to open Bonnet Carre Spillway Sunday
By The Associated Press. Jan. 8, 2016.
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to open the Bonnet Carre (BAH-nee KAR-ee) Spillway on Sunday after heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising river water stages…" (read more)

High water on Mississippi River, Morganza Spillway could be opened
By Trevor, Sonnier, KALB (Alexandria, La.). Jan. 7, 2016.
"If the forecast from the National Weather Service does not change, the Morganza Spillway will open Monday…" (read more)

LWF Commission votes to close deer seasons in affected areas if Morganza or Bonnet Carre Spillways open
Louisiana Sportsman. Jan. 7, 2016.
"A potential closure to the deer season in a large swath of the Atchafalaya Basin looms if the Morganza Spillway is opened to divert flood water from the swollen Mississippi River, according to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries…" (read more)

Corps official says levees holding up well
The Vicksburg Post. Jan. 7, 2016.
"A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official says levee defenses on the lower Mississippi River are holding up well so far against the river’s winter flood…" (read more)

The Mississippi River flood of 1927
By Ron Grossman, The Chicago Tribune. Jan. 7, 2016.
"For a century and a half, Columbus, Ky., fought the Mississippi River to a draw, much like the towns of the Midwest and South that have been inundated during the flooding of recent months. But in 1927, Columbus' 600 or so residents threw in the towel, moving to higher ground — lock, stock and with whatever was left of its shopkeepers' barrels. After a local levee broke, the entire business district sank into the river. Only 13 of the town's 150 homes were still habitable…" (read more)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 7, 2016

January 7, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

New Leader Announced for Louisiana Coastal Restoration
By Dredging Today. Jan. 6, 2016.
*features Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition
"Louisiana Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards has announced that Johnny Bradberry is his appointee for Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities…" (read more)

Documentary focuses on oil spill, land loss
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 6, 2016.
"In 2010, Jon Bowermaster was wrapping up the editing of his latest documentary — this time about the relationship between Louisiana residents and the water that surrounds them…" (read more).

Corps, levee districts begin daily Mississippi River levee inspections
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 6, 2016.
"With the Mississippi River forecast to rise to 15 feet at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans on Thursday (Jan. 7), the Army Corps of Engineers and local levee districts have begun daily high river inspections of the river levees for sand boils, seepage and other problems…" (read more).

La. Guard prepares for winter flooding
By WWL-TV. Jan. 6, 2016.
"The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized more than 70 personnel, with more expected in the coming days, to assist local, parish and state emergency officials in advance of expected river flooding at the request of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness…" (read more)

Secret to saving south Louisiana
Opinion by Frankie Gilbert, The Houma Courier. Jan. 6, 2016.
"South Louisiana may be saved from sinking into the Gulf of Mexico by building a sea wall like Galveston, Texas, did. Our money we have spent over the last 20 years shows little chance to prevent a category 5 hurricane from overtopping and flooding many cities south of U.S. 90. Giant blocks of concrete can be poured and put into position close to the shoreline from Cameron to the Mississippi River…" (read more).

 

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 6, 2016

January 6, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Corps recommends opening Bonnet Carre Spillway, possibly beginning Saturday
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 5, 2016.
*features John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
"The Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Charles Parish should be opened in the next few days to reduce the height of the rising Mississippi River that's threatening levees in the New Orleans area, funneling a portion of the river's flow into Lake Pontchartrain, Col. Richard Hansen, the commander of the New Orleans District of the Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday (Jan. 5)…" (read more)

Corps recommends opening Bonnet Carre Spillway, possibly beginning Saturday (video)
NOLA.com. Jan. 5, 2016.
"Corps recommends opening Bonnet Carre Spillway, possibly beginning Saturday…" (watch here).

John Bel Edwards names Johnny Bradberry to head coastal restoration authority
By Kevin Litten, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 6, 2016.
"Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards has chosen Johnny Bradberry to lead the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the agency charged with overseeing billions of dollars of state and federal funding used to manage the state's coastline…" (read more).

Army Corps to begin checking levees daily, Bonnet Carre announcement expected Wednesday
By Kevin Frey, WAFB. Jan. 6, 2016.
"Army Corps to begin checking levees daily, Bonnet Carre announcement expected Wednesday…" (read more).

Flood Warning Issued For New Orleans Area
By Tegan Wendland, WWNO. Jan. 5, 2016.
"The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River in New Orleans and surrounding areas, effective January 12. This comes as floodwater from devastating winter rain in the Midwest makes its way south…" (read more).

Flood warning issued for New Orleans, surrounding area after river reaches 14 feet
By Juan Sanchez, WDSU. Jan. 5, 2016.
"New Orleans and the surrounding area are under a flood warning, the National Weather Service said Tuesday…" (read more).

The historic Mississippi River flood: Before and after, from space
By Jason Samenow and Angela Fritz, The Washington Post. Jan. 5, 2016.
"The torrential rains that drenched Illinois and Missouri in late December raised the Mississippi River to its highest crest on record south of St. Louis this week. The before and after imagery of the river from this region, obtained by NASA’s Terra satellite, is stunning…" (read more).

Draft of $687 million spending plan for Louisiana coastal projects and planning in coming fiscal year now available for public comment
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 5, 2016.
"A draft plan for how the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority proposes to spend $687 million on coastal projects and planning in the next fiscal year is now available for public comment…" (read more)

Q&A: What does the rising river mean for SE LA?
By Carl Arredondo and Alexandra Cranford, WWLTV.com. Jan. 5, 2016.
"Alexandra Cranford, Carl Arredondo and Don Dubuc answered some questions about the effects of rising water and the possible opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Here are their answers:…" (read more)

Officials Weigh Options as Mississippi Floodwaters Head South
By Tim Loh, Bloomberg Business. Jan. 5, 2016.
"As floodwaters move south along the Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is weighing steps it could take to prevent widespread flooding from southern Missouri down to the Gulf Coast…" (read more).

Flood warning issued for New Orleans once river levels reach flood stage Tuesday (Jan. 12)
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 5, 2016.
"The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the New Orleans metropolitan area as the Mississippi River reached 14 feet Tuesday (Jan. 5) at the Carrollton Gage. The river will reach 16 feet on Saturday and 17 feet, flood stage, on Jan. 12…" (read more)

Riverfront parking, casual levee use not affected by Mississippi River emergency order, state official says
By Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. Jan. 5, 2016.
"An emergency order issued Monday by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority restricting traffic on the Mississippi River levee and parking within 300 feet of the levee centerline is apparently not as restrictive as it may sound…" (read more).

Christmas tree collection to begin Thursday for residents in Orleans Parish
By Juan Sanchez, WDSU. Jan. 5, 2016.
"NEW ORLEANS — City officials will begin collecting Christmas trees for coastal restoration on Thursday…" (read more).

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 5, 2016

January 5, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Rising river: Authorities keep close eye on swelling Mississippi River
By Camille Whitworth, WDSU. Jan. 4, 2016.
*features John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
"Local, state and federal agencies are keeping a close eye on the Mississippi River as it continues to swell. Officials will announce Tuesday if the Army Corps of Engineers will take any action. All crews were on high alert Monday. River levels were at 13.5 feet, and the goal was to keep levels below 17 feet…" (read more)

Mississippi River Winter Floods to Test Government Response, Army Corps Defenses
By Michael Grass, Route Fifty. Jan. 4, 2016.
*features John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
"While historic winter floodwaters in the St. Louis area began to fall over the weekend, the threat is not over for downstream communities along the Mississippi River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with state and local governments along the river continue to be mobilized for what could be a strenuous few weeks as the flood crest moves south toward Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico…" (read more)

Levees among possible cause of more frequent Mississippi River flooding
By The Associated Press. Jan. 4, 2016.
"The Mississippi River floods more often than it used to, and at higher levels. Richard Knaup thinks he knows why. The veteran emergency management director for southeast Missouri's Cape Girardeau County is fighting floods again, just as he did last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. 'Prior to levee building, the river was a wild thing and it spread out between the river bluffs,' Knaup said Monday. 'Now we've tried to tame it. Mother Nature and Old Man River will fight back.'…" (read more)

Mississippi River hits flood stage in Baton Rouge on Monday; decision on Bonnet Carré expected by Saturday
By Amy Wold, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 4, 2016.
"Those watching the water rise in the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge saw levels hit the 35-foot flood stage Monday, foreshadowing what people living south of the capital city can expect as the river continues to rise in the coming days and weeks…" (read more)

State bans driving, walking on Mississippi, Atchafalaya river levees during high water
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 4, 2016.
"The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority announced Monday (Jan. 4) it has banned all vehicle and foot traffic on levees along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers until further notice, in response to high water levels in both rivers…" (read more).

Memphis officials say flood won't rival 2011 as Mississippi River crest forecast lowered
By The Associated Press. Jan. 4, 2016.
"The Bonnet Carre (BON'-nee KAIR'-ee) Spillway will probably be opened to divert Mississippi River floodwaters away from New Orleans through Lake Pontchartrain, but it's too early to tell about the Morganza Spillway…" (read more).

Looking to promote coastal restoration, New Orleans collects Christmas trees
By Polly Mosendz, Newsweek. Jan. 4, 2016.
"New Orleans is giving new life to post-holidays Christmas trees with a recycling system designed to help promote coastal restoration…" (read more)

Enthusiasts flock to Thibodaux area for Christmas Bird Count
By Bridget Mire, Houma Courier. Jan. 3, 2016.
"Equipped with binoculars and notebooks full of species names and tally marks, bird enthusiasts traveled around the Thibodaux area Saturday for the National Audubon Society sponsored Christmas Bird Count…" (read more)

BP was 'near death' after Gulf oil spill, CEO tells BBC
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 4, 2016.
"BP and the federal government are expected to finalize the details of the $20 billion settlement over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster this spring, bringing some sense of closure to Louisiana nearly six years after oil first hit its shoreline. Even so, much of the Gulf Coast is still recovering from wounds left by the disaster — both environmental and economic…" (read more)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Jan. 4, 2016

January 4, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016
By Editorial Board Staff, Houma Courier. Jan. 1, 2016.
"We saw a year in 2015 that saw some real momentum for coastal restoration and flood protection. News that the Gulf states and BP reached a settlement in the federal lawsuit over the oil giant’s 2010 oil spill meant that the coastal cause in Louisiana will get a dedicated stream of money…" (read more).

Mississippi River continues rising in Louisiana as Red River falls
By The Associated Press. Jan. 3, 2016.
"The Mississippi River continues a steady rise, but the Red River's falling in northwest Louisiana. The Red crested at 10 p.m. Saturday at 31.55 feet, and will fall slowly through the week, National Weather Service reports said Sunday. In Shreveport, hydro-meteorological technician Lisa May said she had heard of flooding only along one road and in low areas of some parks…" (read more).

Southern states brace for river flooding
By Rick Jervis, USA Today. Jan. 3, 2016
"Officials continued to closely monitor river levels Sunday and brace for possibly more flooding as the dangerously high crests of the Mississippi River moved south toward Mississippi and Louisiana…" (read more).

State, local officials keep eye on rising Mississippi River, Bonnet Carre Spillway
By Gina Swanson, WDSU News. Jan. 1, 2016.
"NEW ORLEANS —High water levels have local officials on alert and considering the possibility of opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway…" (read more).

Parish by parish guide to Christmas tree recycling
By Christie Walton, KSLA News. Dec. 31, 2015.
"NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) – Your tired, dried out Christmas trees can now be put to work in Louisiana's wetlands. Area parishes have outlined plans to recycle trees…" (read more).

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Dec. 31, 2015

December 31, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Latest News

State of emergency issued as water levels rise in the Mississippi, Red, Atchafalaya rivers
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Dec. 30, 2015.
"Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a state of emergency Wednesday, a first step in applying for possible future aid should the state experience flood damage once water levels rise in the Mississippi, Red and Atchafalaya rivers…" (read more).

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Impacted Sea Turtles Globally
By James Crugnale, The Weather Channel. Dec. 30, 2015.
"The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster had wider geographic implications than previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Biology Letters, undertaken by researchers at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science…" (read more).

City Encourages Residents To Recycle Christmas Trees For Coastal Restoration
By Biz New Orleans. Dec. 29, 2015.
"NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans will continue its program of recycling Christmas trees in an effort to promote the restoration of Louisiana’s wetlands and to assist in the protection of the Louisiana coastline. Orleans Parish residents are encouraged to recycle their Christmas trees by placing them curbside on their regularly scheduled collection days between Jan. 7-9, 2016…" (read more).

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Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Dec. 30, 2015

December 30, 2015 | Posted by jhebert in Latest News

General News: 

How Markets Can Restore Louisiana's Marshes
By Quin Hillyer, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 25, 2015. "Louisiana loses at least 25 square miles of coastal wetlands each year—a grievous destruction of ecologically crucial habitat and of natural buffers against catastrophic storm flooding. But a bold new project ought to teach environmentalists that the profit motive can work more efficiently to protect wetlands than punitive regulations and burdensome bureaucracies. In just six weeks this fall, a private company rebuilt about a square half-mile of wetlands in one of the most ecologically useful spots in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish. What makes the project novel is that the company, Restoration Systems from Raleigh, N.C., undertook the project on spec as an investment, with the intention of selling wetlands “mitigation credits” to make a profit. Businesses whose activities cause marsh destruction elsewhere will, under a federally encouraged barter system, buy those credits to offset the damage they inflict." (Read more).

Buras Home to Nation's Largest Oyster Shell Recycling Program
Features CRCL
By Kari Dequine Harden, Plaquemines Gazette, Dec. 29, 2015. "More than 70 volunteers from all walks of life spent four days in Buras this month bagging about 800 tons of oyster shells – part of the biggest recycling effort of its kind in the entire country. As billions of dollars begin to pour into coastal restoration projects across the state as part of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan, grassroots efforts like the nonprofit Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s oyster reef building project have a small but immediate impact toward tackling the mammoth goal of restoring lost habitat and slowing the rapidly eroding coastline." (Read more).

Year in Review/Looking Ahead: 

2016 Will See Coastal Improvements
Features Simone Maloz, Restore or Retreat
Editorial, HoumaToday.com, Dec. 30, 2015. "The coming year will be a busy one for local coastal projects. The projects represent significant improvements to our natural protections from storm surge — protections that once existed naturally but that have eroded during decades of neglect. Now, we have lost many of those natural defenses, and each successive storm robs us of even more of them and leaves us ever more vulnerable to the next storm. It will take a herculean effort to reverse the trend caused by erosion, subsidence and sea level rise. But these projects are good beginnings. Here, the Caminada Headlands and Whiskey Island restorations are the largest projects." (Read more).  

2016 To Be a Busy Year for Diversion Planning
By Kari Dequine Harden, Plaquemines Gazette, Dec. 29, 2015. "Opponents and proponents of two major river sediment diversions planned for construction near Myrtle Grove (the Mid-Barataria diversion) and White Ditch (the Mid-Breton diversion) have become energized since the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) voted to proceed with final design and everyone will be offered many opportunities for public comment, said Chip Kline, CPRA chairman." (Read More).

Election of Edwards Top LA Story
By The Associated Press, Dec. 27, 2015. "A record settlement of more than $20 billion was filed this year between the federal government and five Gulf Coast states involved in litigation tied to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana is set to receive about $6.8 billion, the largest piece among the states. That includes $5 billion to be spent repairing the spill's damage to natural resources, money that will largely go to coastal restoration and repairing wetlands and damaged wildlife habitats. Another $1 billion will be used to cover the state's economic losses from the spill. The state also will receive $787 million of BP's Clean Water Act penalties, which also is expected to be used to repair natural resources. The settlement also calls for Louisiana to receive $20 million to cover its litigation costs, and another $38.25 million will go for expenses tied to the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process. That involves state and federal agencies working with BP to determine the cost of repairing damage to the environment." (Read more).

Tammany Times: Looking Back On a Year of Highlights
Mentions LPBF
By Sharon Edwards, The Advocate, Dec. 29, 2015. "It’s been a big year in St. Tammany for the many volunteers, organizations and groups that make up this vibrant parish. Some highlights of their activities in 2015: SEPTEMBER: The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation held the 26th annual Beach Sweep, coordinating cleanup activities in seven parishes around the lake, including St. Tammany." (Read more).

2015: A Year of Water Woes and Green Infrastructure Solutions
By Kelli Barrett, Ecosystem Marketplace, Dec. 30, 2015. "Companies such as MillerCoors are investing in nature, too, in order to manage scarce resources and make themselves more resilient in the face of adverse weather events – a top motivator for other corporates as well, including Entergy, which operates in the Deep South with business facilities susceptible to hurricanes and floods. Weather risk is driving the company’s engagement in the carbon markets and its support for restoring Louisiana’s coastal wetlands." (Read more).

Mississippi River Flooding:

Louisiana and Federal Official Watching, Preparing as Mississippi River Rises to Flood Levels
By Amy Wold, The Advocate, Dec. 29, 2015. "Rising water in the Mississippi River has state and federal agencies on alert as flooding is expected to get close to what south Louisiana saw in 2011, when both the Bonnet Carré and Morganza spillways were opened. Long-range river forecasts call for the river to rise to 44 feet in Baton Rouge by Jan. 19 and to 17 feet in New Orleans by Jan. 9. The level in New Orleans will be kept to no higher than 17 feet by the opening of various spillways. It’s unclear if either the Morganza or Bonnet Carré spillways will be opened this year, but a decision will be made about the Bonnet Carré by Jan. 9, said Mike Stack, chief of emergency management at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans district. The trigger to open the spillway is hit when the river is flowing at 1.25 million cubic feet per second and is expected to rise, he said. Currently, the district is evaluating the forecasts and doing other preparation work to make that decision, he said." (Read more).

Levee District Steps Up Levee Inspections as Mississippi River Continues to Rise
By Robert Rhoden, Times Picayune, Dec. 29, 2015. "The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East Levee District said Tuesday (Dec. 29) it has stepped up inspections of Mississippi River levees for signs of seepage, as the river continues to rise. The river is expected to crest at New Orleans at 17 feet, the official flood stage, on Jan 9. Levee district Regional Director Bob Turner said personnel inspect the river levees for seepage and other signs of distress as a part of their routine maintenance activities. However, with this earlier than normal rise in river levels, crews are "especially vigilant" regarding the levee inspection schedule." (Read more).

Corps to Activate Emergency Plan on Mighty Mississippi 
By Greg Hilburn, Monroe News Star, Dec. 28, 2015. "The Corps of Engineers will activate emergency operations Friday as Mississippi River continues rising toward its highest levels since the Great Flood of 2011 with the saturated levee already showing signs of stress with landslides appearing at Alsatia in East Carroll Parish. River levels will rise above flood stage on the Mighty Mississippi throughout Louisiana from the Arkansas line to New Orleans, although the levels aren't forecast to top any portion of the levee." (Read more).

Louisiana Bracing for River Flooding
By Ben Myers, Times Picayune, Dec. 28, 2015. "Federal and state authorities are monitoring river levels across the state, and the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Baton Rouge. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said in a news release Monday night (Dec. 28) that authorities will consider "flood control actions" over the next few weeks. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Ricky Boyett said testing is underway to determine whether opening the Bonnet Carre spillway is necessary. The Corps opens the spillway when the Mississippi River flow exceeds 1.25 million cubic feet per second." (Read more).

Louisiana Officials Advise of Possible Flooding in January Along Red, Mississippi Rivers
By The Associated Press, Dec. 28, 2015. "State and local authorities are keeping an eye out for possible flooding in the coming days and weeks along the Mississippi River on the eastern edge of Louisiana and the Red River in the west. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said officials are monitoring both rivers. The office hosted conference calls with leaders of parishes that border the waterways." (Read more).

Mississippi River Flood Crest May Be Highest Since 1993 in St. Louis; Record Crest Possible in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
By Jon Erdman, Weather.com, Dec. 30, 2015. "Stretches of the Mississippi River may see flood crests at or above levels set during the 1993 and 1973 floods in the coming days, as swollen tributaries from torrential post-Christmas weekend rain pour into the river. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Crest during MLK week comparable or just below May 2011 flood possible. Areas outside of levee protection may flood. Shipping and industrial activities may be significantly impacted." (Read more).

Millions in Danger From Threat of Mississippi River Flooding
By CBS News, Dec. 30, 2015. "Torrential downpours have swollen rivers in Illinois and Missouri, and mandatory evacuations are underway. In Missouri, flooding is blamed for at least 13 deaths. The Mississippi river could reach about 14 feet above its flood stage in St. Louis, and flooding could affect about 18 million people in states along the river, from Illinois to Louisiana. Anna Werner reports." (Read more).

Deer Hunting to End Along Mississippi River
By Editor, Louisiana Sportsman, Dec. 29, 2015. "Deer hunting season will close at sunset on Dec. 29 along the Mississippi River from the Arkansas state line south to Vidalia, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced this evening. The closure, enacted due to flooding of the Mississippi River, begins at sunset Dec. 29, the agency reported. All land east of U.S. Highway 65 from the Arkansas state line to Vidalia are included in the closure, the LDWF said. Parishes affected include East Carroll, Madison, Tensas and Concordia." (Read more).

Christmas Tree Recycling:

Where to Recycle Christmas Trees in Your Parish
By WWL, WWLTV.com, Dec. 29, 2015. "The City's Department of Sanitation along with its solid waste contractors Metro Services, Richard's Disposal and Empire Services; the Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs; and Leaaf Environmental are working together to collect, sort, and bundle the trees, which will be placed in selected coastal zones. This project is funded by the Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs. In 2015, more than 6,965 Christmas trees were collected in Orleans Parish after the holidays and airlifted by the Louisiana National Guard into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge as part of a program to create new marsh habitat." (Read more).

Christmas Trees in New Orleans for Coastal Restoration
By Emeka Dibia, WAFB, Dec. 28, 2015. "People who live in New Orleans can once again use their Christmas trees to help restore Louisiana's coast. Orleans Parish residents are encouraged to recycle their Christmas trees by placing them curbside on their regularly scheduled collection days between Jan. 7-9. The city says the trees must be natural and stripped off all ornaments, tinsel, and lights.  Tree stands must also be removed. Flocked and artificial trees will not be collected. Trees should not be placed on the neutral grounds or in plastic bags." (Read more).

New Orleans to Pick Up Christmas Trees for Recycling Jan. 7-9
By Greg LaRose, Times Picayune, Dec. 28, 2015. "New Orleans residents who want to have their Christmas trees recycled for coastal restoration efforts are asked to place them curbside on their regularly scheduled collection days between Jan. 7-9. Trees must be natural with all ornaments, tinsel, lights and tree stands removed. Flocked and artificial trees will not be collected, and trees should not be placed on neutral grounds or in plastic bags." (Read more).

Southern Parishes Seek Christmas Trees for Coastal Restoration Effort
By The Associated Press, AP, Dec. 29, 2015. "In New Orleans, discarded trees will be collected at curbside Jan 7-9. The trees must be all natural trees — flocked and artificial trees cannot be accepted. Lights and ornaments will have to be removed. St. Charles Parish said Monday that it will accept trees at bridge parks in Destrehan and Luling. There also will be curbside pickup in St. Charles Jan. 12. St. Tammany Parish government is accepting trees at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds in Covington and the old Levee Board building in Slidell." (Read more).

New Orleans Encourages Its Residents to Recycle Christmas Trees for Coastal Restoration
By WWL, WWL.com, Dec. 28, 2015. "“As a coastal city, we must all take restoration seriously. This service is an easy way for our residents to help protect and restore our environment," said Mayor Landrieu. "We can now use the trees that are typically thrown out as waste as an opportunity to provide critical support to help restore our wetlands and continue to build the resilience of our natural environment." (Read more).

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