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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

How to Save a Sinking Coast? Katrina Created a Laboratory.
*features Alisha Renfro, NWF & David Muth, NWF
By John Schwartz, The New York Times. August 7, 2015
"The Mississippi River is the lifeline for the crisis we face in coastal Louisiana,” Mr. Kline said. “We can’t just keep throwing money at the problem, dredging and dredging and dredging.” Instead, he added, “we just let the river do the work.” (Read More)

In Louisiana, Rebuilding Mother Nature’s Storm Protection: A ‘Living Coast’
*features John Lopez, LPBF & Natalie Peyronnin, EDF
By Jesse Hardman, NPR. August 8, 2015
"We know the river built the wetlands; we do know that. And we know that the river can rebuild wetlands, and they can rebuild the system on a scale that we can't mechanically do with just dredging," Peyronnin says.” (Read More)

Mud Wrestling: As BP money flows, a bitter fight over Louisiana coast will escalate (video)
By John Snell, WVUE. August 10, 2015
"Ryan Lambert, a charter boat captain in Plaquemines Parish and a vocal supporter of diversions, points to natural crevasses farther down river. He argues the surrounding marsh, fed with fresh water and sediment, is among the healthiest in south Louisiana.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 7, 2015

August 7, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

From the Mississippi to the Ganges, river deltas are in major trouble
By Chris Mooney, The Washington Post. August 6, 2015
"Deltas, after all, have been doing their thing for thousands upon thousands of years — flooding, washing in sediment, rebuilding land. But we changed the system — meaning that simply building higher, on sinking land, may not be enough of a sustainable solution.” (Read More)

Delta cities, wealthy or not, face rising risk from sinking land
By Zachary Tessler, The Conversation. August 6, 2015
"Controlled diversions and dike breaches are options for selectively allowing parts of the delta to flood, bringing sediment with it. This is currently being debated in the Mississippi Delta, for instance, and research based on earlier diversions during flood events suggests this will slow land loss. Also, restored coastal wetlands increase sediment retention, and can reduce the impact of storm surges.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Fisherman oppose river diversions to fix Louisiana coast
By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press. August 4, 2015
"John Teal, a member of the advisory panel and a wetlands restoration expert with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said diversions must be considered to help save coastal Louisiana from disappearing. “The diversions can slow (the land loss) down," he said. "They can build land.” (Read More)
2015 Gulf of Mexico dead zone ‘above average’
NOAA. August 4, 2015
"Scientists have found this year’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone — an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and marine life — is, at 6,474 square miles, above average in size and larger than forecast by NOAA in June. The larger than expected forecast was caused by heavy June rains throughout the Mississippi River watershed.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Our Views: ‘The battle over preserving GOMESA is even more vital for those with a long-term commitment to Louisiana’s coastline’
The Advocate. August 2, 2015
"Diversions of Mississippi River water and sediments — the way the Louisiana delta was formed in past ages — have been since the 1920s identified as the way to rebuild significant amounts of coastal marshes, Kline told the Press Club of Baton Rouge. “It is important that the river be a restoration tool as well as a transportation tool,” Kline said.” (Read More)
Is New Orleans Safe?
By John M. Barry, New York Times. August 1, 2015
"The same natural forces that created the coast could preserve enough of it to give Louisiana’s coastal areas a chance at a sustainable future. Little of what is gone can be rebuilt, and more land will still disappear, but even in the face of sea level rise, if given enough sediment and fresh water, land can be built in strategic places to protect populations.” (Read More)
New Orleans makes small sustainability gains since Katrina, Data Center says
By Richard A. Webster, The Times-Picayune. July 31, 2015
"Looking forward, Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. that has a master plan for stemming the loss of coastal wetlands. The plan aims to invest $50 billion to restore wetlands, utilizing new and emerging science and techniques. The success of this effort is vital as the future of the metro New Orleans area, its livelihood and economic survival depend on the preservation of its coastal wetlands, according to the Data Center.” (Read More)
The True Value of BP’s $18.7 Billion Settlement
By Michael Conathan, American Progress. July 30, 2015
"Restoration of the Gulf’s rapidly degrading wetlands should be a priority for RESTORE Act funding. For decades, the oil and gas industry has contributed to the landscape-scale loss of marshes and wetlands throughout the region. This industrial activity, combined with sea level rise due to climate change, results in 75 square kilometers of Louisiana wetlands eroding into the Gulf of Mexico annually. Lost along with this acreage are the social and economic benefits they provide to society, including buffering storm surge, filtering pollution, and serving as nursery habitats for fisheries.” (Read More)

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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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