Archive for Media Resources


Gulf Oil Disaster’s Impacts to Wildlife and Habitat Still Unaddressed Four Years Later

April 17, 2014 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in BP Oil Disaster, Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org

Gulf Oil Disaster’s Impacts to Wildlife and Habitat Still Unaddressed Four Years Later

Leading Conservation Groups Highlight New Findings, Need for Restoration

(New Orleans, LA—April 17, 2014) Four years after the Gulf oil disaster began, killing 11 men and spewing 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, leading national and local conservation organizations working on Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast restoration – Environmental Defense FundNational Audubon SocietyNational Wildlife FederationCoalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – released the following statement:

“Four years after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Gulf recovery remains elusive. We must hope for a measure of justice for communities, wildlife and habitats. However, the urgent need for restoration is still unfulfilled.

“Reports from the field and laboratory continue to raise the alarm. New scientific studies show how the oil disaster’s impacts are permeating the food chain – from small microorganisms like zooplankton to large mammals like sperm whales and dolphins. Louisiana wetlands suffocated by BP’s oil have eroded more quickly than those the oil spared. Areas that once provided valuable mangrove habitat for thousands of nesting birds and other animals have shrunk or disappeared. Islands that were thriving rookeries for birds and wildlife are now gray and lifeless. The stark truth of visible damage in areas like Barataria Bay, Louisiana, speaks for itself. This week, BP declared active clean up complete in Louisiana, but volumes of BP oil continue to surface, from miles of oiled coastline to a monster-sized 40,000-pound tar mat.

“While BP denies clear science, the facts present the truth: the Gulf is still hurting, and BP’s to blame. Four years after the largest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil giant has yet to pay a penny of its Clean Water Act fines for polluting the Gulf.

“Restoration of the Mississippi River Delta ecosystem must happen to repair natural resources on which local economies depend. Solutions are ready and within reach. But restoration work cannot begin in earnest until BP is held accountable to the full extent of the law. We urge swift resolution to this crisis. It is past-due and justice demands it.”

Background:

Since the BP oil disaster began four years ago, ongoing findings deliver truths omitted by BP’s ads: the oil disaster’s negative effects are increasingly clear, present and far from resolved. Over the past year alone, new research has surfaced:

  • A new infographic depicts ongoing impacts of the Gulf oil disaster four years later.
  • A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) detailed how exposure to BP oil can lead to abnormalities including irregular heartbeats and heart attacks in Atlantic bluefin tuna and amberjack.
  • A new NOAA study revealed that dolphins exposed to BP oil had increased health problems, including adrenal problems, severe lung disease and reproductive issues.
  • A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences definitively linked a community of damaged deep water corals near the Macondo well to the BP oil spill.
  • A Louisiana State University researcher found that the BP oil spill is still killing Louisiana coastal insects.
  • Visible tar balls and tar mats continue to surface, including a 40,000-pound tar mat discovered off the coast of a Louisiana barrier island in June 2013.

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WHO WE ARE: The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Comprised of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. See more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.

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Media Advisory: The Gulf Oil Disaster: Four Years Later, Visit Oiled Wetlands & Restoration Sites

April 1, 2014 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in Media Resources

Media Advisory for Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Gulf Oil Disaster: Four Years Later, Visit Oiled Wetlands & Restoration Sites

Interview and Boat Trip Opportunities

Contact:
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org
Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org

As the fourth memorial of the 2010 Gulf oil disaster approaches, join experts from the Mississippi River Delta Restoration CoalitionEnvironmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – on boat trips in the Louisiana marsh for an on-the-ground view of wildlife and habitat four years post-spill. Visit coastal wetlands that still contain visible BP oil and explore restoration projects that could be funded with oil spill fines.

When the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 men and dumping 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, the impacts of the disaster to wildlife and habitat were felt all along the Gulf Coast. Coastal wetlands around the Mississippi River Delta bore the brunt of the oil as it reached shore, affecting both the environment and the economy of Louisiana and the entire Gulf region that depends on the delta.

The long-term effects of the oil disaster may not be fully known for years or even decades to come, but new research released this year has revealed enduring impacts to many species, including Atlantic bluefin tuna, dolphins, sea turtles, seaside sparrows and others. Hear more about current and potential future consequences of the disaster with experts in science, wildlife and restoration.

To participate in the boat trips, you must RSVP to Emily Guidry Schatzel by Monday, April 7 at 225.253.9781. Boats will be leaving from Myrtle Grove Marina — a 45-minute drive from New Orleans.

Boat Trip Details:
WHEN: Thursday, April 10, 2014
WHERE: Louisiana’s Barataria Bay and Bay Jimmy, sites that remain oiled from the Gulf oil disaster
WHO: David Muth, Director, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, National Wildlife Federation
Alisha Renfro, Ph.D., Coastal Scientist, National Wildlife Federation
Erik Johnson, Ph.D., Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Louisiana
RSVP: To reserve a space, you must RSVP by Monday, April 7 to Emily Guidry Schatzel at 225.253.9781.

Interview Opportunities: If you are unable to make the boat trip on April 10, interview opportunities are available with experts in science, policy, wildlife and restoration issues from our national and local conservation organizations.

Restoration Experts:
David Muth, Director for Mississippi River Delta Restoration, National Wildlife Federation
Douglas J. Meffert, D. Env., MBA, Executive Director, National Audubon Society (Audubon Louisiana)
Steve Cochran, Director for Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund
Simone Maloz, Executive Director, Restore or Retreat

Science:
John A. Lopez, Ph.D., Executive Director, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Alisha Renfro, Ph.D., Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, National Wildlife Federation

Policy:
Cynthia Duet, Director of Governmental Relations, National Audubon Society (Audubon Louisiana)
Courtney Taylor, Policy Director, Land, Water & Wildlife Program, Environmental Defense Fund
Sara Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal, Senior Policy Specialist, Protecting and Restoring Coasts and Floodplains, National Wildlife Federation

Business Impacts:
Jim Wyerman, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Communications, Environmental Defense Fund

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WHO WE ARE: The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Comprised of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. See more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.

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Media Advisory for Feb. 20: “Bayou Sundance” Documentary to Premiere in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

February 14, 2014 | Posted by Delta Dispatches in Community Resiliency, Hurricane Katrina, Media Resources, Meetings/Events

Media Advisory for Thursday, February 20, 2014

Contact: Arthur Johnson, The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, 504.421.9643, ajohnson@sustainthenine.org

“Bayou Sundance” Documentary to Premiere in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward 

Provocative film details history of Bayou Bienvenue through eyes of community elders and youth

Bayou Sundance

The Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle is a degraded bald cypress swamp just north of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Over the past 50 years, human activity has caused the swamp and surrounding ecosystem to erode, increasing the city’s vulnerability to storms and contributing to catastrophic damage during Hurricane Katrina.

Through the eyes of community elders and youth, “Bayou Sundance” documents the history of the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle, including the decline of nearby wetlands, resulting impacts and the area’s movement toward rebirth. This powerful story captures the importance of urban wetlands, natural storm protection for coastal cities and serves as a historical environmental justice case study.

You are invited to join us for the premiere of “Bayou Sundance” and to learn more about the future of Bayou Bienvenue and the importance of coastal restoration to both the city of New Orleans and the state. Light dinner will be served.

This film is a product of The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development with support from Environmental Defense Fund and National Wildlife Federation.

The trailer can be viewed online here, and the full film will be available starting February 20 at www.restorethebayou.org.

Film Screening and Panel Details:
WHAT: Film screening and Q&A panel with filmmakers and producers

WHEN: Thursday, February 20, 6-7:30 p.m. CT

WHERE: All Soul’s Community Center
5500 St. Claude Avenue
Lower Ninth Ward
New Orleans, LA 70117 ‎

WHO: Arthur Johnson: Executive Director, The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and Producer of "Bayou Sundance"
Happy Johnson: Teacher, Author and Co-Director of "Bayou Sundance"
Amanda Moore: Greater New Orleans Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation

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Conservation Organizations Respond to Senator Mary Landrieu’s Confirmation as Chairwoman of Energy and Natural Resources Committee

February 11, 2014 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in BP Oil Disaster, Clean Water Act, Media Resources, RESTORE Act, Senator Mary Landrieu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org

Conservation Organizations Respond to Senator Mary Landrieu’s Confirmation as Chairwoman of Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Landrieu a champion for Louisiana coastal restoration, Gulf oil spill recovery

(Washington, DC—February 11, 2014) Today, the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus confirmed Senator Mary Landrieu as chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. National and local conservation organizations committed to Mississippi River Delta restoration – Environmental Defense FundNational Wildlife FederationNational Audubon SocietyLake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana – issued the following statement:

“We are pleased to welcome Senator Mary Landrieu as the new chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senator Landrieu has proven herself to be a champion for restoration of the Mississippi River Delta, as well as an effective legislator, notably demonstrated by her leadership in crafting and passing the bipartisan RESTORE Act which benefits the entire Gulf Coast. The law ensures that Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP Gulf oil disaster go back to the Gulf Coast states for restoration. This historic legislation would not have become law without Senator Landrieu’s tireless leadership and her ability to work across the aisle. In her new capacity as committee chairwoman, we look forward to a continued partnership to advance both funding and implementation of Mississippi River Delta restoration.”

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Comprised of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. See more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.

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Coalition Responds to Garret Graves’ Resignation from Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

February 5, 2014 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in Media Resources

PRESS STATEMENT — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org

Coalition Responds to Garret Graves’ Resignation from Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Conservation groups praise vast accomplishments, look to continued leadership

(New Orleans, LA—February 5, 2014) Yesterday, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Chairman Garret Graves announced he will resign on February 17. A coalition of leading national and local conservation organizations that work on Mississippi River Delta restoration — Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana — issued the following response:

“The Mississippi River Delta Restoration Coalition extends our immense appreciation to Garret Graves for his tireless work to restore Louisiana’s coast. In the face of multiple hurricanes, tropical storms and the nation’s largest oil disaster, Graves overcame enormous challenges while maintaining ongoing focus to identify solutions that address our big-picture land loss crisis.

“Graves has been an impassioned, effective leader in the fight to reconnect the Mississippi River to its wetlands to create a more sustainable future. Thanks to Graves’ leadership and unanimous legislative support, Louisiana has a Coastal Master Plan in place to deliver the suite of science-based solutions needed to address coastal restoration on a large scale. We wish Graves well in his future endeavors, and we hope he will keep fighting as an invaluable voice for our coast.

“We welcome Jerome Zeringue as new CPRA chairman and look forward to working with him and his team to implement the state’s master plan. The coastal land loss crisis is a battle we can win. With the state’s commitment to coastal restoration, and with diverse partnerships working to secure resources for the future, we look forward to building on Graves’ accomplishments and advancing coastal restoration projects at full speed.”

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Comprised of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. See more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.  

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New Evidence of BP Oil Spill Effects Revealed Today

December 18, 2013 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in BP Oil Disaster, Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org 

New Evidence of BP Oil Spill Effects Revealed Today

Millions of Pounds of Oily Material Cleaned Up in Recent Weeks, New Study Links Oil to Dolphin Deaths

(New Orleans, LA—December 18, 2013) Today, two new developments linked BP oil from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster to ongoing wildlife, habitat and economic impacts in Louisiana. First, a new peer-reviewed scientific study by a team of government, academic and non-governmental researchers was released linking BP oil from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster to dolphin deaths and illness in Barataria Bay, La., an area that saw heavy oiling during the disaster. Additionally, reports surfaced today that some 1.5 million pounds of “oily material” have been recovered from the coast of Lafourche Parish in the past few weeks.

The dolphin study said that the health effects seen in the Barataria Bay dolphins are not only significant but also will likely lead to reduced survival and ability to reproduce.

The area from which the tar mats were collected spans between Elmer’s Island—home to many species of birds, fish and other species—and Port Fourchon, La., a major economic driver for the Gulf. National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following joint statement today in response to this news:

“Today’s tragic news of sustained oil-linked dolphin deaths and illness underscores the true state of the Gulf. Additionally, more tar mats full of BP oil have surfaced recently in Louisiana, as they have been doing consistently since the Gulf oil disaster began in April 2010.  

“BP saturates media markets with its pricy ads, but it can’t hide these truths. Instead of continuing the PR onslaught, BP should accept responsibility for all of the harmful impacts it has caused the Gulf’s ecosystems and economies, including long-term impacts that remain unknown. BP should pay up.

“New evidence like this report on Louisiana dolphins and the ongoing discovery of millions of pounds of tar mats in Louisiana are a smoking gun showing that BP’s ads implying that clean-up is over and the Gulf is better than ever are simply not true. The Gulf is still waiting for the realization of restoration that it deserves. The Gulf is still waiting for BP to accept accountability and to make things right.”

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Deepwater Horizon Trustees Release Draft Early Restoration Plan

December 6, 2013 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in BP Oil Disaster, Media Resources, Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS: Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org

Deepwater Horizon Trustees Release Draft Early Restoration Plan

 Natural Resource Damage Assessment Process Moves Forward

(New Orleans, LA—December 6, 2013) Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees have released their draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and their draft Restoration Plan for Phase III of early NRDA restoration projects. These projects, which were first announced April 30, will be funded through the $1 billion early NRDA funds that BP agreed to invest in restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.

Leading national and local conservation organizations working on Mississippi River Delta restoration — Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana — released the following statement in response:

“More than three years after the largest oil spill in our nation’s history, today’s announcement is a positive step toward healing the battered Gulf. The Natural Resource Damage Assessment process moving forward through release of the PEIS signifies progress toward restoration. We encourage the NRDA trustees, BP and stakeholders to continue working together to implement these early restoration projects and help revive the Gulf Coast’s struggling natural resources.

“The trustees’ commitment to funding environmental projects in Louisiana, including nearly $320 million proposed for barrier island restoration, is an exciting advancement toward restoring the Mississippi River Delta. Barrier islands provide critical storm protection and are the first line of defense for New Orleans and other coastal communities. They also provide habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife, including the Louisiana brown pelican. These early restoration funds will help rebuild four barrier islands, including the Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge, which was ground zero during the oil spill.

“We look forward to reviewing and providing public comments on the draft PEIS and to working with the NRDA Trustees during the public comment period and the implementation stage to complete these vital restoration efforts. The communities and economies of the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Delta have waited long enough for restoration, and these early restoration projects are a key step toward fairness and recovery.”

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Restoring Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Important to New Orleans, Mississippi River Delta

November 15, 2013 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in Media Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org
Arthur Johnson, The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, 504.421.9643, ajohnson@sustainthenine.org

Restoring Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Important to New Orleans, Mississippi River Delta

New interactive signs teach visitors about need for coastal restoration

(New Orleans—November 15, 2013) Today, new educational, interactive signage will be unveiled on the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle viewing platform in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. These signs will help visitors and residents understand what they are seeing as they gaze out over the ghostly remnant snags of a former cypress swamp. At this site, in the backyard of a community less than five miles from the French Quarter that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, visitors will learn about efforts to restore the ecosystem and the broader, critical need for coastal restoration.

“The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and parishes have already committed millions of dollars to the restoration of the Central Wetlands area. This urban swamp is not just one of the best educational and accessible tools we have to teach our children about the important role wetlands play in our environment, but a healthy Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MRGO) ecosystem plays a key role in tempering storm surge for these historic Ninth Ward and St. Bernard communities,” said Garret Graves, Chair of CPRA. “We look forward to working with area neighborhoods, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes and other stakeholders to restore this once-thriving area as envisioned in the State's Coastal Master Plan.”

“Not long ago, Bayou Bienvenue was a freshwater cypress swamp filled with indigenous wildlife, but after the completion of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet shipping channel, it was left decimated by saltwater intrusion,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Today, efforts are underway to restore this natural treasure. The new interactive signage will increase awareness of these efforts and the bayou’s importance to coastal restoration.”

The signs explain the importance of the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle to the community, what has happened to the area since construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) and how the Triangle serves as a portal to the larger land loss issues facing Louisiana’s coast. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the signs and the natural areas around them by using their smartphones to watch videos, call to listen to coastal experts, sign an action alert, text “BAYOU” to donate to the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development’s coastal outreach program, sign up for volunteer events, sign an electronic guestbook and learn even more about restoration efforts on the signs’ accompanying website, www.restorethebayou.org.

"This event is a wonderful expression of collaboration and coordination among community, city, state and national groups working together for the benefit of the Lower Ninth Ward Community,” said Arthur Johnson, Executive Director of The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development. “The Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle and platform is a dynamic component displaying the texture and make-up of residents and neighborhoods in the Lower Ninth Ward. This effort is a continuation of building a sustainable and resilient community as created and developed by Pam Dashiell, founder of the CSED."

“The Mississippi River Delta Restoration Coalition is pleased to work with the community to help interpret one of the most visited and accessible coastal sites in Louisiana, the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle,” said Amanda Moore, Greater New Orleans Program Manager for National Wildlife Federation. “These one-of-a-kind signs will help thousands of visitors learn more about and engage in the critical effort to restore our coast.”

This signage project is a product of The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces Nearly $68 Million for Louisiana Restoration Projects

November 14, 2013 | Posted by Ryan Rastegar in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, Media Resources, Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, Restoration Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913.8978, egreeson@audubon.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces Nearly $68 Million for Louisiana Restoration Projects

$40.4 million dedicated to Mid-Barataria Diversion, a critical project to comprehensive coastal restoration

(New Orleans, LA – November 14, 2013) Today, leading national and local conservation and restoration organizations – Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – released the following joint statement:

“We applaud the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, for dedicating $67.9 million to seven key barrier island and river diversion projects, including $40.4 million for the Mid-Barataria Diversion project. The Barataria Basin has one of the highest rates of land loss in the world, and this large-scale wetland restoration project is crucial to reversing that trend.

“The mid-sized Mid-Barataria sediment diversion is a key component of Louisiana’s 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan is a blueprint for restoring the Mississippi River Delta and Louisiana’s coast and contains a suite of coastal restoration and protection projects. Our organizations support the full suite of restoration projects in that plan, of which the Mid-Barataria Diversion is a critical piece.

“Restoration of Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands is important not only to Louisiana but to the entire nation. Louisiana’s wetlands and waters provide one-third of the nation’s seafood, are a stopover point for migratory birds traveling the Mississippi Flyway and provide critical wildlife habitat. Projects like the Mid-Barataria Diversion can help revive Louisiana’s coastal wetlands – part of America’s largest delta – to a productive, functioning state, which provides important ecological and economic opportunities for people and wildlife. We look forward to continued work with both the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the State of Louisiana to implement the Mid-Barataria sediment diversion on its current timeline of being ready for construction in 2015.”

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Media Advisory: Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Signage Unveiling and Press Conference

November 7, 2013 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree in Media Resources, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet

Media Advisory for Friday, November 15, 2013

Contact:
Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Erin Greeson, National Audubon Society, 503.913-8978, egreeson@audubon.org
Arthur Johnson, The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, 504.421.9643, ajohnson@sustainthenine.org

Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Signage Unveiling and Press Conference

New educational, interactive signs teach visitors about need for coastal restoration

Each year, thousands of people visit the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle viewing platform in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. New signage to be unveiled Nov. 15 will help these visitors and residents alike understand what they are seeing when they look out over a cypress ghost swamp in the backyard of a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Visitors will learn why the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle is important to the community, what has happened to the area since construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) and how the Triangle serves as a portal to the larger land loss issues facing Louisiana’s coast. This signage project is a product of The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED), Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Press Conference Details:

WHAT: Press conference, signage unveiling and photo and interview opportunities.

WHEN: Friday, November 15, 10:00 a.m. CT

WHERE: Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Viewing Platform
Florida Ave at Caffin Ave
Lower 9th Ward
New Orleans, LA 70117 ‎

WHO:
Garret Graves, Chair, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana
Charles Allen, Director, Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs, City of New Orleans
James Austin Gray II, Councilmember, New Orleans City Council
Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Councilmember-at-Large, New Orleans City Council (Invited)
Arthur Johnson, Executive Director, The Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development
Amanda Moore, Greater New Orleans Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation

More information about the signs:
While at the viewing platform, visitors will have numerous opportunities to interact with the signs and the natural area around them. They can scan a QR code with their smartphones and watch videos about Bayou Bienvenue and other coastal restoration projects on the accompanying website. Visitors can use their phones to sign an action alert or text “BAYOU” to donate to the CSED’s coastal outreach program, call to listen to locals and coastal experts further discuss the coastal crisis facing Louisiana, sign up for volunteer opportunities with local organizations, as well as sign an electronic guestbook via Instagram.

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WHO WE ARE: The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Comprised of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. See more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.

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