Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Aug. 29, 2013

Oil spill restoration overseers approve 1st plan
By Janet McConnaughey, The Associated Press. Aug. 28, 2013.
“NEW ORLEANS — The committee that will oversee some of BP PLC’s oil spill fines hopes to put money into restoration projects within 12 months, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said Wednesday…” (read more).

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore advocates for hurricane preparation and protection
By WWL-TV (New Orleans). Aug. 29, 2013.
“NEW ORLEANS, La. – Eight years ago, Louisiana native, Lieutenant General Russel Honore, came home to lead the Army’s Joint Task Force Katrina and his no-nonsense style to kick start New Orleans’ recovery…” (read more).

Opinion: We Sued the Oil Industry So New Orleans Can Survive
By John M. Berry for National Geographic. Aug. 28, 2013.
“After Hurricane Katrina, which struck eight years ago today, and the collapse of the levee system—a system entirely designed and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—Louisiana wanted a new kind of local levee board, one made up of flood experts instead of political appointees…” (read more).

Gulf restoration council approves initial restoration plan, as Gov. Bobby Jindal urges quick action
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“A federal-state group set to oversee the spending of billions of dollars of Clean Water Act fines from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill unanimously approved Wednesday an initial comprehensive plan for restoring the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem and economy. Members of the council also promised that the first projects could be approved by June 2014, the beginning of the next hurricane season…” (read more).

Coastal restoration plan approved
By Jacob Batte, The Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.). Aug. 28, 2013.
“The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council unanimously approved an initial Gulf Coast restoration plan Wednesday that could take shape within a year…” (read more).

Our Views: Lessons from coastal storms
By The Advocate (Baton Rouge). Aug. 29, 2013.
“There are no real surprises in the findings of a federal panel appointed to develop a strategy for rebuilding coastal areas in the northeastern United States that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy…” (read more).

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Recovery Plan Set For Release
By Eileen Fleming, WWNO (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“The federal Commerce Secretary is presiding at a meeting in New Orleans Wednesday afternoon on how to spend billions of dollars to fix damage caused by the BP oil spill. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be opening the forum…” (read more).

Jindal opposes coastal erosion lawsuit due to oil industry contributions, environmental groups say
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“A consortium of local environmental groups on Wednesday charged that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s receipt of more than $1 million in political contributions from the oil and gas industry is behind his opposition of a lawsuit against the industry aimed at getting them to restore coastal wetland damage…” (read more).

Judge refuses to suspend BP settlement payments to Gulf Coast residents and businesses
By The Associated Press. Aug. 28, 2013.
“A federal judge has rejected BP’s latest request to suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast residents and businesses while former FBI Director Louis Freeh leads an independent investigation of the program, which compensates victims of the company’s 2010 oil spill…” (read more).

BP well-site leaders seek trial delay in Gulf oil spill criminal case
By Harry R. Weber, FuelFix (Houston). Aug. 28, 2013.
“Lawyers for two BP well-site leaders on Wednesday asked a federal judge for a nine-month delay in their trial on charges of manslaughter in the deaths of 11 workers killed in the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig…” (read more).

BP chief speaks to local business leaders
By Xerxes Wilson, The Houma Courier. Aug. 28, 2013.
“The President of BP America visited Houma Wednesday as the company continues its campaign against what it calls fraud in the claims process…” (read more).

Hurricane Katrina leaves a quiet hush over New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward
By Adriane Quinlan, | The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“On Jourdan Avenue, the locals drive too fast and the tourists drive too slowly. Eight years after Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters floated a barge over the canal wall and the wall itself collapsed, unpacking a surge of water that tore through these homes, the asphalt street has been repaved. But no speed limit signs are posted. Some cars use this strip as a highway. Others inch by…” (read more).

Gulf Coast marks 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
By Melanie Eversley, USA Today. Aug. 29, 2013.
“Thursday marks the eighth anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina bulldozed New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800, tearing holes in The Mercedes-Benz Superdome and forcing a huge group of mostly impoverished people to take shelter for days at the convention center…” (read more).

Jindal blasts BP, says it spent more on ads than coastal restoration
By David Hammer, WWL-TV (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“Gov. Bobby Jindal had some of his harshest words for BP on Wednesday, calling the oil giant out for spending more money on glossy advertising than on restoring the coast damaged by its 2010 oil spill…” (read more).

Louisiana officials want funding for Gulf Coast restoration work
By Amy Wold, The Advocate (Baton Rouge). Aug. 29, 2013.
“NEW ORLEANS — Money for Gulf Coast coastal restoration projects, funded by civil penalties paid in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, could arrive within a year and Louisiana officials called for a speedy process to get the work moving…” (read more).

Levee board picks fight with oil and gas industry, roiling La.
By Annie Snider, Greenwire. Aug. 28, 2013.
“NEW ORLEANS — Flying over southeast Louisiana, it’s easy to see human fingerprints on what’s left of the wetlands below…” (read more).

Hurricane Katrina eight years later, a statistical snapshot of the New Orleans area
By Mark Waller, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“On the eve of the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, which has been tracking recovery indicators since the early months after the storm, issued a snapshot of post-Katrina statistics. Earlier this month the center released its analysis of economic and demographic trends since Katrina, called the New Orleans Index at Eight…” (read more).

Groups lash out at Jindal’s opposition to lawsuit
By Kevin McGill, The Associated Press. Aug. 28, 2013.
“A group of environmental and public interest organizations said Wednesday that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s staunch opposition to a lawsuit against scores of oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal erosion is motivated by more than $1 million he has received over the years in contributions from the oil industry…” (read more).

Candidates share concern for necessity of coastal restoration money
By Michael Gorman, Editorial page editor. The Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.). Aug. 27, 2013.
“There is usually more middle ground than grounds for disagreement. And the blossoming campaign for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s seat is no different…” (read more).

Governor Jindal Slams BP As Gulf Coast Restoration Plan Is Approved
By Eileen Fleming, WWNO (New Orleans). Aug. 29, 2013.
“Five states and leaders of several federal agencies have unanimously approved a blueprint to repair the Gulf of Mexico with BP fines pending over the 2010 oil spill. Governor Bobby Jindal’s comments in New Orleans about BP and his support for Mississippi River diversions drew immediate criticism…” (read more).

Landrieu, Jindal address Gulf Coast Ecosystem Council and Restore Act Importance
By Bayoubuzz staff (New Orleans). Aug. 28, 2013.
“The RESTORE Act, which Sen. Landrieu authored with Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., created the Council and tasked it with drafting a comprehensive plan to ensure that penalties paid by BP and other parties under the Clean Water Act are invested in a coordinated and comprehensive way to maximize restoration efforts in the Gulf…” (read more).

Jindal Calls for Swift Release of RESTORE Act Funds
By Dredging Today. Aug. 29, 2013.
“Governor Bobby Jindal addressed a gathering of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem’s Restoration Council in New Orleans, where he highlighted the importance of Louisiana to the Gulf’s Ecosystem and called for a swift flow of RESTORE Act funds to Gulf States, counties and parishes affected by the BP oil spill…” (read more).