What New England Marshes Can Teach Us About Coastal Louisiana Restoration

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What New England Marshes Can Teach Us About Coastal Louisiana Restoration

10.17.2017 | By John Andrew Nyman, PhD, Professor, LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources

I’ve studied coastal wetland restoration in Louisiana since the 1990s and have visited with landowners and managers who want to slow wetland loss and build new land across the coast, from Lake Sabine to Slidell. I’ve also studied coastal wetland management and restoration outside Louisiana, by reading articles and attending conferences, but until recently, I’d only visited a handful of sites. This summer, I traveled to New England to participate in the workshop “Tidal Marsh Restoration: A Traveling Course from …

Deltas Around the World are Facing Uncertain Futures – Using the River Can Help

09.25.2017 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Program Assistant, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

Deltaic systems around the world, such as Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta and France’s Rhône River Delta, are facing growing consequences from climate change and sea level rise. Sea levels are projected to rise a staggering 1 to 2 cm per year by the end of this century, and deltas around the world will not be able to survive if no action is taken to protect them. In a recent paper published in Science of the Total Environment, researchers analyzed the …

Estuaries 101: 3 things to know about this important ecosystem

09.18.2017 | Posted by

Help Us Celebrate National Estuaries Week 2017 September 16-23 is National Estuaries Week! Learn more about events in your area and other ways to get involved at www.estuaries.org/national-estuaries-week. 1. What is an estuary? Estuaries are transition zones between fresh and salty waterbodies. Estuaries are bodies of water, as well the surrounding coastal wetlands, that are generally found where a river meets the sea – like the Mississippi River Delta. Because estuaries exist where two different types of waterbodies meet, they …

Finding the Sweet Spot: Studying Oyster Habitat Suitability in the Pontchartrain Basin

09.06.2017 | By Michael Hopkins, Ph.D., Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) have been cultivated in Louisiana’s coastal waters since the mid-1800s. For the last 35 years, the industry has produced more oysters in Louisiana than any other state. In Louisiana, the oyster industry is smaller in size than the pogy or shrimp fisheries but is similar in value to crawfish or alligator harvests.  Understanding oyster habitat dynamics over space and time in the Pontchartrain Basin is important because of the cultural and commercial significance as well as …

Can Louisiana Coastal Restoration Succeed in the Face of Increasing Climate Impacts and Energy Costs?

07.26.2017 | Posted by

Co-authored by Emily Ewing, Restoration Projects Intern, Environmental Defense Fund Coastal Louisiana faces a triple threat from rising sea levels, increased storm intensity and growing energy costs. While these are not necessarily new issues, there are growing concerns over the seeming inevitability and full reality of the implications of these threats. Without fast action, Louisiana will lose thousands of more acres of wetlands that provide critical habitat to wildlife and fisheries, as well as risk reduction benefits to coastal communities …

Louisiana’s Roseau Cane: Why It’s Important and What’s Eating It Away

06.27.2017 | Posted by Richie Blink, Plaquemines Parish Community Outreach Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation

I was kicking up mud as we skimmed over a newly created mudflat just downstream from the West Bay Diversion. New land with vibrant flora and fauna spread in every direction, a product of diverting sediment-laden river water and strategically depositing dredged material from navigation channels of the Mississippi River. My two passengers with the Plaquemines Association of Business and Industry (PABI), Bobby Thomas and Mike Van Haverbeke, were pleasantly surprised at industrial development and coastal stewardship colliding to create …

April Showers Bring May Flows: What That Means for Louisiana’s Wetlands

05.23.2017 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

April showers usually bring May flowers. They also often bring higher river flows. The heavy rainfall within the Mississippi River’s enormous drainage basin over the last month is currently flowing down the river toward the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began inspections along the Mississippi River on May 4th in response to the rising river. In Baton Rouge, the river stage is predicted to peak at 41 feet on May 27th. While a river stage of …

Collaborative Governance: How We Can All Guide the Future of Our Coast

04.11.2017 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Program Assistant, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

Collaborative Governance. A concept that is exactly what it sounds like. The involvement of a diverse group of stakeholders, both public and private, that meet to inspire and attain a common agreement on public policy. Getting multiple stakeholder groups together to formulate a common understanding is imperative for the survival of coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta. With each passing hour, day and year, Louisiana’s coast disappears into the Gulf of Mexico. It isn’t just one landowner or community …

Getting Down to the Basics of Sea Level Rise: Part II

11.28.2016 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

In the news and in studies, we hear a lot about sea level rise, mainly in the form of estimated numbers of future sea level rise and other predictions of how it will affect coastal communities, like in Louisiana. To cut through some of this noise, we thought it would be helpful to break down the basics of sea level rise and discuss what this means specifically here in Louisiana. In a previous post, we explain historical sea level rise …

Getting Down to the Basics of Sea Level Rise

10.18.2016 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

In the news and in studies, we often hear a lot about sea level rise, mainly in the form of estimated numbers of future sea level rise and other predictions of how it will affect coastal communities, like in Louisiana. To cut through some of this noise, we thought it would be helpful to break down the basics of sea level rise and discuss what this means specifically here in Louisiana. In this first part, Alisha Renfro explains historical sea …

Estuaries 102: Louisiana Estuaries & Restoration

09.23.2016 | Posted by

This is part two of our National Estuaries Week blog! See part one here. Learn more about events in your area and other ways to get involved at www.estuaries.org/national-estuaries-week. There are lots of wetlands in the United States – more than 110 million acres! With so many wetlands, why do we focus so much on coastal wetlands and estuaries? In our previous post, we discussed how important estuaries are to wildlife and humans, despite the fact that estuarine and marine wetlands …

Reconnecting the Delta: How Increased Mud Supply Can Improve Sediment Diversions

Jordan Davis, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund Rising sea level and anthropogenic sediment loss is a combination affecting sustainability of deltaic ecosystems. Around the world, major deltas have been experiencing a 44% decline in sediment supply since the 1950s due to construction of dams and reservoirs, including the Mississippi River Delta. A recent journal article, published in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, examined the role of fine-grained sediments in deltaic restoration. The authors found that the …

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LPBF Launches Hydrocoast Maps to Monitor Conditions in Barataria Basin

06.09.2016 | Posted by Theryn Henkel, Assistant Director of Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Due to popular demand, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has created Hydrocoast Maps for Barataria Basin.  As it has done in neighboring Pontchartrain Basin, the maps for the Barataria Basin will monitor the salinity, freshwater input, weather and fisheries in order to gain a deeper understanding of estuarine dynamics, changes to the basin over time and to provide a baseline to monitor future changes as restoration projects are completed. Hydrocoast Maps provide a snapshot of the conditions of the estuary, …

Tracking Fish with Acoustic Telemetry—Implementation of an Exciting Technology in Lake Pontchartrain

05.31.2016 | Posted by Nic Dixon, Outreach Associate, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and many other fisheries organizations and scientists worldwide have traditionally used fish tags to keep track of fish populations. You may have even applied these simple dart-tipped plastic tags to a fish yourself. Standard fish tagging efforts (in part) identify where the fish was originally captured, Point A, and then where the fish was recaptured, Point Z. But there is not a clear picture of where these fish were for points B, …

The Bonnet Carré Provides Plenty of Recreational Opportunities

05.02.2016 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

Originally posted on Vanishing Paradise. See original post here. In January of this year, high water on the lower Mississippi River prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to open of the Bonnet Carré Spillway for the 11th time in its 85-year history. The Bonnet Carré Spillway doesn’t just help lower water levels pressing against the flood protection levees, it’s also a thriving wilderness area that benefits from the periodic opening of the spillway structure and the sediment and fresh …