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

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

11.28.2016 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, 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 Campaign, 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 Estelle Robichaux, Senior Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund

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 …

Estuaries 101: 3 things to know about this important ecosystem

09.20.2016 | Posted by Estelle Robichaux, Senior Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund

September 17-24 is National Estuaries Week! Learn more about events in your area and other ways to get involved at www.estuaries.org/national-estuaries-week. 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 are influenced by diverse dynamics and are defined …

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 Campaign, 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 …

What can the 1927 flood teach us about coastal restoration?

02.02.2016 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

During the historic 1927 flood, a portion of the Mississippi River levee south of New Orleans was dynamited to lower the water level and prevent catastrophic flooding – seen in much of the Mississippi River Basin – from occurring in the city. This explosion created a 2-kilometer wide crevasse, which redirected water into nearby Breton Sound. Nearly 90 years later, scientists have completed measurements in the upper Breton Sound basin to quantify the sediment deposition in the 50-square-mile crevasse splay …

Mississippi River’s High Water Brings (Literally) Tons of Needed Sediment to Louisiana

01.20.2016 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, National Wildlife Federation

This is the second in a series of blog posts focusing on the recent opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway in response to the Mississippi River high-water event. See the first post on the history of the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) system here.  The current high-water event on the Mississippi River is sending more than one million cubic feet of water per second down the lower Mississippi River, carrying with it sediment that is an essential ingredient to restoring Louisiana’s …

Heavy Rainfall Activates Early Flood Fight on Lower Mississippi River

01.08.2016 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, National Wildlife Federation

As the Mississippi River high water event continues, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will soon open the Bonnet Carré Spillway, and potentially the Morganza Floodway, to help relieve pressure on river levees and prevent catastrophic flooding. During high-water events like this one, the river contains more water and carries more sediment than usual. Without restoration projects like sediment diversions in place to capture sediment, much of this essential component for restoring our coast is lost. In the future, when …

New study: Cost of not pursuing significant coastal restoration could reach $133 billion

12.21.2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve, Communications Manager, Ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund

Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 squares miles of land since the 1930s. Without future action to restore the coast and reverse this trend, the state stands to lose another 1,750 square miles of land by 2060. This land loss crisis not only impacts the communities, wildlife and ecology of south Louisiana, but it also puts cities, homes, infrastructure and industries at risk. Coastal wetlands serve as a buffer against the effects of waves, storms and sea level rise. The continued …

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Help Count Birds for Science during Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count

12.11.2015 | By Help Count Birds for Science during Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count

The National Audubon Society invites birdwatchers to participate in the longest-running citizen science survey, the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). From December 14 through January 5, birders and nature enthusiasts in Louisiana will take part in this tradition, many rising before dawn to participate. “Louisiana is home to millions of birds each winter, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. Understanding how the populations of these birds are changing is revealed through CBC efforts, which is critical for knowing how to …

New sediment counter shows amount of uncaptured sediment passing through LA every second

12.02.2015 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, National Wildlife Federation

There’s less sediment moving down the Mississippi River than there used to be. Much of that missing material is trapped behind dams built upriver of Louisiana. Despite the reduction in sediment it carries, the Mississippi is still mighty with approximately 90 million tons of sediment passing the city of Belle Chasse, La. each year1. Tragically, much of that mud and sand will be carried past the sediment-starved wetlands and barrier islands of the delta – where it could have great …

What We Know Now About the BP Oil Disaster

11.16.2015 | By Ryan Fikes, Staff Scientist, National Wildlife Federation, Gulf Restoration CampaignWildlife Promise

This post has been cross-posted from the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Promise blog. It’s been more than five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Since that time, a council of federal and state Trustees have been extensively investigating the impacts of the disaster on wildlife and habitats, but that information has been kept under wraps—for use in litigation against BP. Now that the case has settled, this research has finally been made public in a draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan. …