Today is #CoastalDay, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Today is #CoastalDay, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Today, May 2, is Coastal Day at the Louisiana Legislature. This annual event, organized by the Coast Builders Coalition, is designed to educate legislators about the vital work being done to protect and restore our coast. With the 2017 Coastal Master Plan being introduced early in the legislative session, Coastal Day is an important opportunity to educate representatives and legislators from across the state about the master plan. You can follow along with updates throughout the day by following the …

Louisiana Coastal Area Funding Included in Omnibus Spending Bill

05.01.2017 | Posted by Elizabeth Mabry, Senior Policy Manager, Ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund

Last night, U.S congressional leaders released a $1-trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September. Congress is expected to approve the bill later this week. While the omnibus bill includes spending for numerous federal programs, of note for Louisiana is the inclusion of dedicated funding for the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) program. The bill includes $9 million for the LCA Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials (BUD Mat) program and $520,000 for LCA general investigations. …

Louisiana Faith Leaders Support Coastal Restoration

The following letter was recently signed by over 30 faith leaders and delivered to the The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority in support of the 2017 Master Plan. Dear Members of the CPRA: The persons who have signed this letter are faith leaders, and we submit this comment on the 2017 Coastal Master Plan of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority because we are children of the One who created us and the planet on which we reside. God calls humans …

#OurCoast: From Disaster to Restoration

03.29.2017 | Posted by Estelle Robichaux, Senior Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund

When I heard there had been an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, I knew it was going to be one of the most impactful events during my lifetime. In the spring of 2010, I was living in Florida, deep in the throes of graduate school and finals were looming. I knew that once I really started to pay attention to the news surrounding the spill, I was not going to be able to stop. So …

Why Does the Coast Matter to You? Tell Us Your Story

03.06.2017 | Posted by Ryan Chauvin, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, National Audubon Society

The 2017 Master Plan is the road map that will guide Louisiana's efforts to protect the coast over the next 50 years. As the plan comes up for a vote, our best weapon is your voice! Help us tell the story of our coast so legislators across the state can make the easy choice: to pass the master plan.  Everyone's interactions with Louisiana's coast is different, so we expect your stories to be, too. Here are a few ideas to …

Do Levees Alone Provide Enough Flood Protection? No, They Do Not.

03.03.2017 | Posted by John Lopez, Director, Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

The simple answer is no, but why not? Levees can be wonderfully effective, but they need to be built and built correctly. Many areas of our coast can never be inside of levee protection because of their location and the expense associated with building levees there. Levees are expensive and have to be justified economically. Areas of the coast that are too sparsely populated make it difficult to justify the construction of a levee. In addition, many areas with low …

Mardi Gras Pass Is Building Land. Here’s Why It’s Important.

02.23.2017 | Posted by Theryn Henkel, Assistant Director of Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

With Mardi Gras celebrations in full swing, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation recently released a report examining two years of data collection and observations at Mardi Gras Pass – a naturally forming distributary of the Mississippi River that is building new land. What we’re learning at Mardi Gras Pass will help coastal planners better design sediment diversion restoration projects throughout coastal Louisiana. What is Mardi Gras Pass? Mardi Gras Pass is located in the Bohemia Spillway, where the artificial river …

How Will a Sediment Diversion Affect the Coastal Environment? The Answer Lies in the Operations.

02.21.2017 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

Sediment diversions have long been proposed as an essential component in every major restoration plan in coastal Louisiana. Sediment diversions are man-made structures built directly into the Mississippi River levee system with gates that can be opened and closed to allow sediment, fresh water and nutrients to nourish and revive the dying wetlands. In the “Answering 10 Fundamental Questions about the Mississippi River Delta” report, scientists clearly demonstrated that sediment diversions are the most effective tool to build and sustain …

Will Diversions Introduce Nutrients That Harm Wetland Vegetation?

02.13.2017 | Posted by Theryn Henkel, Assistant Director of Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Within the scientific community, and among the general public, there is controversy over the effects that nutrients, introduced through sediment diversions, will have on wetland vegetation. The speculation is that increased nutrients, especially nitrate, will result in decreased root growth. With increased nutrient availability, plant roots will no longer have to “search” for nutrients, resulting in decreased growth. This results in fewer roots to hold and trap soil and organic matter, creating weaker wetlands. In addition, the increase in nutrients …

Is There Enough Sediment in the Mississippi River to Restore Louisiana’s Coast?

02.03.2017 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

Sediment – the sands, silts, clay and mud of the Mississippi River – is the critical ingredient to coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana. All the types of restoration projects in our toolbox that build land – marsh creation, sediment diversions, ridge restoration and barrier island restoration – rely on sediment. In order to create a more certain future for the people, communities and wildlife of Louisiana, sediment must be treated like the precious resource it is, and as much of …

New Research Helps Scientists Answer Fundamental Questions About Coastal Restoration

01.04.2017 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Program Assistant, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

When a new idea or project is introduced, people ask questions to better understand it. How and why it has come about? How it will affect people and resources? How much it will cost? These are valid questions that deserve well-researched and clear answers, especially when it comes to large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts, such as restoring coastal Louisiana. In 2012, Restore the Mississippi River Delta and the Science and Engineering Special Team set out to answer 10 fundamental questions about …