Archive for Videos
By Samantha Carter, Senior Outreach Coordinator, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition
Did you drop your old Christmas tree on the curb in New Orleans on January 7th to 9th?
If so, you’re helping to save the coast!
The New Orleans Christmas Tree Recycling Program collects those old Christmas trees and strategically drops bundles of them into the wetlands in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. These trees create wave breaks and trap sediment, producing new marsh habitat that supports growth of native grasses. Over the years, the program has replenished approximately 175 acres of wetlands in Bayou Sauvage.
The program also acts as a training exercise for the Louisiana National Guard who uses UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to pick up the tree bundles and place them into a grid in the marsh.
The Christmas Tree Recycling Program is a simple way to help rebuild your coastal ecosystem.
Be on the lookout for next year’s collection dates!
As Senior Outreach Coordinator, Samantha Carter works to develop and implement outreach and engagement strategies to advance the priorities of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program for the National Wildlife Federation. Focusing on the Greater New Orleans area, she educates and engages community leaders and other key stakeholders, including elected officials and neighborhood associations, to address the alarming loss of coastal wetlands in Louisiana. Additionally, Samantha helps coordinate the MRGO Must Go Coalition – a group of 17 environmental, community, and social justice organizations working to restore the degraded wetland ecosystem that protects the Greater New Orleans area from storm surge.No Comments
Today (March 22) is the United Nations’ World Water Day – an international observance and opportunity to learn about water-related issues, be inspired and teach others, and take action to make a difference.
Today, almost half of the world's workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors, and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Each year, the UN sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge. This year’s theme, “Water and Jobs,” focuses on how the quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies for the better.
Water offers Louisianians nearly unlimited economic potential; but, in contrast, it poses a major threat to our coast, and the people and wildlife that call south Louisiana home. This is why coastal restoration is imperative for our vanishing coast – not only as protection against storm surge, but also to preserve the estuaries that produce 25% of American seafood, habitat for the 100 million birds that pass through the Mississippi River Delta each year, and home of nearly 2 million people living in or near the delta.
In Louisiana’s Coastal Zone, the water management sector – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – is now the fastest growing industry, driving economic expansion and eclipsing the oil and gas sector in creating new jobs, according to a recent study by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition using research by The Data Center.
Coastal restoration and protection is not only the biggest jobs creator in coastal Louisiana, it has some of the highest-paying jobs, averaging $69,277 per year.
So what is coastal restoration anyway and what does it look like? The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a member of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, has produced a video, A View of Restoration from the Barataria Basin, which gives a high-level overview of the issue, the impacts and causes of coastal land loss and an in-depth view of the different restoration projects occurring in the Barataria Basin.
Watch A View of Restoration from the Barataria Basin below for a better sense of how coastal restoration projects all work together to help restore our coast.No Comments
By Samantha Carter, National Wildlife Federation
Where does your Christmas tree go when you leave it at the curb?
If you participated in the New Orleans tree recycling program this year, then as of April 2nd your tree is now in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.
After your tree was picked up off of the curb in January, it was sorted and bundled by the Department of Sanitation with help from the city’s Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs. Then teams from the Louisiana Army National Guard Aviation Command, based in Hammond, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service met Thursday, April 2 in New Orleans East to airdrop the bundles into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.
The National Guard uses the event as a training exercise with two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters which pick up the tree bundles and place them into cribs set up in the marsh. The tree cribs are placed in strategic locations in the marsh to reduce wave action, slow erosion and protect the natural marsh and shoreline habitat. The trees also trap sediments to help create new habitat. Over the years the project has helped to re-establish approximately 175 acres in the Wildlife Refuge.
Thousands of people in Orleans Parish participate in this program every year and several other parishes in southern Louisiana have programs of their own. The Christmas tree recycling program is a great way for communities to get involved in restoring the coast. Participation in the program also helps keep the trees from being incinerated or ending up in landfills.
A big thanks to the City of New Orleans, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Army National Guard and all those who recycled their trees this year. Be sure to keep your ears open for next year’s tree pick up days!No Comments
Straddling the border of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes in Southeastern Louisiana is the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion built by the Army Corps of Engineers and operated since 1992 to balance water salinity by funneling river water into coastal marshes.
Lately, the diversion has had indirect effects that are raising eyebrows among scientists and those seeking to find solutions to address the crisis of Louisiana’s disappearing coast. The Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion is creating land at a rapid pace by delivering nutrient-rich river fresh water to bayous that have been starved of sediment and are eroding at an alarming rate.
In a new video, Coordinator of Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s Coastal Sustainability Program Dr. John Lopez outlines how approximately 1,000 acres of wetlands have been developed from the Caernarvon Diversion to create a new delta and within it a new bayou known as Bayou Bonjour. The new bayou is named in contrast to the book "Bayou Farewell," foretelling of the tragic loss of our wetlands and bayous. “Caernarvon was not designed or operated to build land,” Lopez notes, yet “Big Mar Pond has been filling up over the last twenty years due to sediment from Caernarvon.” How did this happen? Lopez explains how the diversion has provided an “ideal recipe for building a delta”: (river freshwater + sediments + nutrients = land growth).
Big Mar is located directly behind Braithwaite Park, a Plaquemines Parish community housed outside the federal levee system where devastation from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Isaac occurred. Building land in Big Mar could provide a much-needed buffer for this community and an example for how to protect others like it. “As long as Caernarvon Diversion is flowing, this waterway and others like it will develop and this gives us hope in Louisiana that we can rebuild our coast,” says Lopez. In addition, recently planted cypress trees are thriving and will provide additional environmental and flood protection benefit as a new "line of defense."
Take a tour of Bayou Bonjour:
Want to learn more about the Caernarvon Diversion and other solutions for restoring the Mississippi River Delta? Visit mississippiriverdelta.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. You can also share the video with your network using the following tweet:
- Introducing Bayou Bonjour: Caernarvon Diversion has created an “ideal recipe for building a delta” #RestoreOurCoast http://youtu.be/5TExITZM2Wg
Yesterday, September 30, 2013, as phase II of the 2010 BP oil spill civil trial began in New Orleans, members of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign gathered outside the courthouse to demand BP be held fully accountable for the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
At 6:30 am, we debuted a brand new BP oil spill timeline video LIVE outside the courthouse on a 16-foot, high definition LED billboard in an effort to highlight the ongoing need for restoration and to publicly hold BP accountable. The video screen, which was adorned with a giant banner atop saying "#makeBPrestore," will be directly outside the U.S. District Courthouse in New Orleans for the first two days of the BP trial playing our video on constant loop. Check out the video below. Please LIKE the video and SHARE it so that we may send a strong, unified message that it's time for BP to restore the Gulf.
And click the photo below to see an album of photos from the day!No Comments
On April 20, 2010, 11 people lost their lives and the biggest environmental disaster in our nation's history began. Three years later, BP's oil is still here, and it continues to impact the people, places and wildlife of the Gulf.
On April 20, 2013, to mark three years of BP's ongoing disaster, local groups and citizens gathered to memorialize all that has been lost, call out BP for the ongoing effects of the spill, and take a stand to fight for justice in the Gulf.
Below is our video from that event. Watch it and share it, and be sure to follow the link at the end to take action to tell BP it's time to pay!
This story was originally posted on CNN.
By David Yarnold, President, National Audubon Society
Special to CNN
Updated 8:01 AM EST, Tue March 5, 2013
(CNN) — BP showed up in court last week, finally, nearly three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the hell it unleashed on the Gulf Coast. It's a huge, high-stakes trial, and BP is taking the beating it's earned. Here's what's at stake for America if there is a judgment: potentially tens of billions of dollars that will be used to create jobs while restoring some of our most productive and vulnerable natural places.
Whether the trial results in a decision or a settlement, the outcome will send a signal about how serious this country is about enforcing its common-sense rules that guarantee clean air and waters.
BP and its partners have already confessed to criminal negligence in the 2010 blowout that killed 11 men and gushed nearly 5 million barrels of oil. Every part of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, from the deep-sea corals to dolphins to migratory birds, was… (continue reading on CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/05/opinion/yarnold-bp/index.html).No Comments
By Emily Guidry Schatzel, Communications Manager, National Wildlife Federation
Recent news reports suggest that the potential for compromise exists in the case of Mardi Gras Pass, the newest known distributary of the Mississippi River. The pass was discovered in 2012 when the river cut a channel through its bank in the Bohemia Spillway, a stretch without levees, giving an exciting and rare view at how a natural delta system operates.
While the pass promises ecological prosperity for the delta, the newly enlarged channel washed out the private road that one local oil company uses to access its facilities. The company has since applied for a permit to rebuild that road. Coastal restoration advocates believe that the current plan to rebuild will effectively close the Mardi Gras Pass and will eliminate encouraging ecological benefits that scientists from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation have been monitoring since the channel’s development.
This video further explains the debate over keeping the pass open, and alternatives for compromise. The key takeaway? Whether it be construction of a bridge, or another reasonable alternative that gives the oil company access while allowing Mother Nature to literally “run its course,” this is clearly an issue that requires the full attention of key decision-makers so that the best long-term solution is achieved.
As Dr. John Lopez, executive director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation — the organization that discovered the pass in 2012 — said, “It’s the kind of thing that most scientists sit in their offices there, dreaming how it might happen. Here, you can actually see it.” Keeping Mardi Gras Pass open is important — it’s a chance for the river to reconnect with its wetlands, which is exactly what the river is designed to do.1 Comment
Last Friday on Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s (LPB) “Louisiana: The State We’re In,” panelists representing impacted families, state communities and the environment discussed the recent Department of Justice announcement of an unprecedented $4.5 billion BP criminal case settlement for BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, plus ongoing impacts and restoration needs.
Panelists included: Keith Jones, whose son was among the eleven killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion; Melanie Driscoll, Director of Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society’s Mississippi Flyway and Gulf of Mexico; and Garret Graves of the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority of Louisiana.
Show: Louisiana: The State We're In
Airing: Check your local listings and lpb.org for additional viewings.
Description: BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill two and a half years ago. A panel of experts will discuss the topic including Garret Graves with the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority of Louisiana; Keith Jones, whose son was among the eleven killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion; and Melanie Driscoll with the National Audubon Society.
Website: http://www.lpb.org/programs/swi/No Comments
By Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund
If anyone can sympathize with the Northeast as it recovers from Hurricane Sandy, it’s the residents of New Orleans. I found this out firsthand on recent trip to Louisiana.
While Hurricane Sandy battered the Northeast, I was in South Louisiana with Environmental Defense Fund’s Creative Director, Nicole Possin, working on a video about wetlands restoration in the Mississippi River Delta. We’d planned the trip long before we knew about Sandy, and the irony of being in Louisiana while a hurricane hit the Northeast was not lost on us. I live in Washington, and Nicole lives in Brooklyn and owns a house in Asbury Park, NJ — an area severely hit by the storm. In Louisiana, it was in the 70s and sunny, making it hard to believe a tropical storm was hitting the East Coast. Needless to say, we were glued to the news.
As we talked with people throughout the state, we were met with greetings of sympathy, understanding and encouragement for us and our neighbors back home. “We’ve been through this before, and you’re going to get through it, too” was a common sentiment. “Rebuilding is going to take time, but as long as you have the people you love nearby, it will be OK” was another. It was comforting and touching to hear such kind words from strangers, especially from people who have been through numerous natural disasters.
Louisianans have experienced more than their fair share of hurricanes, including Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, Lee and most recently, Isaac. We met with people who’d lost their homes in those storms — sometimes not once, but twice. In many parts of New Orleans and south Louisiana, people are still rebuilding their houses, businesses and communities — years later.
Yet despite all this, there is a strong sense of hope and resiliency among the people of South Louisiana.
We took to the streets with our camera and helped local residents send messages of empathy and encouragement to the people of the Northeast. The result was this video, “Postcards from New Orleans: Hope for the Northeast.” Please share it with others and feel free to leave your own message in the comments section below. This video is the first in a series, so please check back for future installments.
- Postcards from New Orleans: A video for the Northeast (Environmental Defense Fund)