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

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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 Program, 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 Program, 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 …

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 Program, 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 …

Expert Diversion Panel: State has all information needed to make decision on advancing diversions

10.01.2015 | By Expert Diversion Panel: State has all information needed to make decision on advancing diversions

By: Alisha Renfro, Staff Scientist, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, National Wildlife Federation Sediment diversions are restoration projects that carry sediment and water from the river through a gated structure on the levee into nearby basins, mimicking the way the Mississippi River once built much of southeast Louisiana. This type of project was identified in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan as a vital tool for far-reaching and long-lasting restoration of our coastal wetlands. Four sediment diversion projects from the …

New report quantifies storm reduction benefits of natural infrastructure and nature-based measures

09.29.2015 | By New report quantifies storm reduction benefits of natural infrastructure and nature-based measures

By Shannon Cunniff, Deputy Director for Water, Environmental Defense Fund Coastal zones are the most densely populated areas in the world. In the U.S., they generate more than 42 percent of the nation’s total economic output. These coastal communities, cities and infrastructure are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rising seas and increased storms, as well as ongoing coastal development, have stripped these natural environments of their innate resilience to storms and flooding, leaving coastlines and the …

It's a Marathon, not a sprint: Small steps build lasting momentum for comprehensive restoration

09.23.2015 | By It's a Marathon, not a sprint: Small steps build lasting momentum for comprehensive restoration

By Estelle Robichaux, Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund and Gaby Garcia, Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund This post is part of a series on early restoration planning in Louisiana. Be sure to check out parts one and two for more information on previous plans. By the early 1990s, Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis had been studied and documented for more than two decades. Successful establishment of the state-level Office of Coastal Restoration and Management and the Wetlands Trust Fund …

Bold Recommendations & Early Citizen Support for Diversions as a Key to Coastal Restoration

09.16.2015 | By Bold Recommendations & Early Citizen Support for Diversions as a Key to Coastal Restoration

By Estelle Robichaux, Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund and Gaby Garcia, Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund This post is part of a series on early restoration planning in Louisiana. Be sure to check out part one for a look back to 1973. In 1988, the Coalition to Restoration Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) released a plan titled Coastal Louisiana: Here today and gone tomorrow? The plan, which was a joint effort by stakeholders and scientists, focuses on the Mississippi River Delta …

The History of Coastal Restoration in Louisiana: More than 40 years of planning

08.17.2015 | By The History of Coastal Restoration in Louisiana: More than 40 years of planning

By Estelle Robichaux, Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund and Gaby Garcia, Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund The damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana’s bird’s foot delta nearly 10 years ago, brought regional and national attention to the state’s dramatic and ongoing coastal land loss crisis. But this crisis, as well as innovative and large-scale solutions to reverse wetland loss, had been studied, discussed and planned by scientists and decision-makers for decades. In a series of …

A Decade after Katrina, Groups Issue Recommendations for Community Protection, Restoration

08.11.2015 | By A Decade after Katrina, Groups Issue Recommendations for Community Protection, Restoration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:               Samantha Carter, National Wildlife Federation, 504.264.6831, carters@nwf.org Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org Raleigh Hoke, Gulf Restoration Network, 573.795.1916, raleigh@healthygulf.org A Resilient, Sustainable New Orleans A Decade after Katrina, Groups Issue Recommendations for Community Protection, Restoration (New Orleans – August 11, 2015) To commemorate the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a coalition of local community and conservation advocacy groups working to restore wetlands around the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) released a …

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Oysters 101

08.05.2015 | By Oysters 101

By Shannon Hood, Environmental Defense Fund Today is National Oyster Day, and we’re celebrating the holiday with a post about these useful and tasty bivalves and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s (UMCES) Horn Point Laboratory, which is growing them by the billions. Previous posts have discussed the ecological and economic importance of oysters, so we won’t spend time on this today. In preparation for a series of other posts on the (r)evolutionary oyster industry, this post will …

Ten Years after Katrina, What the BP Settlement Means for Louisiana Restoration

07.16.2015 | By Ten Years after Katrina, What the BP Settlement Means for Louisiana Restoration

By Steve Cochran, Director, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, Environmental Defense Fund Ten years ago, just after Hurricane Katrina, I was asked to talk to Environmental Defense Fund’s board about the place where I grew up, the New Orleans area that had been hit so hard. I remember two things about that discussion. One was my voice breaking unexpectedly (and embarrassingly) as we talked through pictures of the Katrina aftermath and came across places I intimately knew. As an adult, I …

LPBF Assesses Upgraded Hurricane Protection System for Greater New Orleans Eastbank

06.18.2015 | By LPBF Assesses Upgraded Hurricane Protection System for Greater New Orleans Eastbank

By Ezra Boyd, PhD, Disastermap.net, LLC The Hurricane Surge Risk Reduction System As we approach the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the associated levee failures, the people of the Greater New Orleans (GNO) region face constant reminders that our safety and viability depend on a complex system made of numerous elements that together mitigate risks from hurricane induced tidal floods.  The near constant construction of levees, pumps and floodgates over the last decade provides the most visible evidence of …

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Hydrocoast Maps Monitor Changes in Mississippi River Estuaries

06.04.2015 | By Hydrocoast Maps Monitor Changes in Mississippi River Estuaries

By John Lopez, Ph.D., Coastal Sustainability Program Director, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation The Lake Pontchartain Basin Foundation (LPBF) is releasing a report describing the methodology of its Hydrocoast Maps program, a research effort that began in 2012 and monitors water flow, salinity and other factors to better understand the Mississippi River estuary in the Pontchartrain Basin. What are the Hydrocoast Maps? The Hydrocoast Maps monitor the distribution of salinity, changes in water quality, and other pertinent information across the Pontchartrain Basin …

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NOAA Study Confirms BP Oil Spill Led to Dolphin Deaths in Northern Gulf of Mexico

05.20.2015 | By NOAA Study Confirms BP Oil Spill Led to Dolphin Deaths in Northern Gulf of Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org NOAA Study Confirms BP Oil Spill Led to Dolphin Deaths in Northern Gulf of Mexico  Leading Conservation Groups Call on BP to Accept Responsibility for Continued Environmental Damage (New Orleans, LA—May 20, 2015) Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a peer-reviewed study confirming that the 2010 Gulf oil disaster contributed to …

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