Latest Mississippi River Delta news: Dec. 24, 2015
Climate Change Threatens Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles, But Doesn’t Dampen Holiday Cheer
By Julie Dermansky, DESMOG Blog, Dec. 24, 2015. “Members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe who live on Isle de Jean Charles in southern Louisiana are destined to become some of the first climate change refugees in the United States. But that doesn’t stop a lifelong resident Chris Burnet from enjoying every day he has left. The island’s population has dropped from its peak of about 350 to about 70. Only 25 homes on the island are full-time residences. The same waters that have sustained the tribe for over 170 years now threaten its existence, as the island sinks and is impacted by coastal erosion.” (Read more).
Cost of Lakefront Pump Stations Jumps Again, by $23.7 Million
By Mark Schleifstein, Times Picayune, Dec. 23, 2015. “Add $23.7 million to the cost of building the permanent closure and pump station structures at the mouths of the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue canals, the Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Wednesday (Dec. 23). On Tuesday, the Army approved a change order that increases the money to be paid to PCCP Constructors Joint Venture to $654.4 million, thanks to engineering, design and construction costs associated with installing variable frequency drives in the three pump stations.” (Read more).
Louisiana Among 6 Oil-Producing States with Budget Shortfalls: Reuters
By Julia O’Donoghue, Times Picayune, Dec. 23, 2015. “While dropping oil prices are exacerbating Louisiana’s budget problems, the state’s own financial analysts have said it isn’t the primary cause of the fiscal crisis. Louisiana’s budget is far less reliant on oil prices than it was 25 years ago, according to Greg Albrecht, the Louisiana Legislature’s chief economist. Albrecht blames the majority of the shortfall on Louisiana’s budgeting tactics over the past few years. He said Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature have relied on piecemeal funding sources — trusts, revenue from property sales and other things — that don’t replenish themselves year after year. This has led to the financial crisis, though falling oil prices aren’t helping.” (Read more).
With CO2 Boost, Marshes Can Rise to Meet Flood Risks
By John Upton, Climate Central, Dec. 23, 2015. “Channeling and dredging projects can remove mud from ecosystems and dump it on land or out at sea. Dams and levees can trap mud upstream, preventing it from reaching marshes. And flood control projects can prevent dirt from washing into rivers and down to reach marshes. Such problems are vividly evident in coastal Louisiana, where they are driving the loss of 16 square miles of land every year. The loss of flows of mud is occurring at the same time that demand for it by marshes is increasing, as they struggle to build themselves up to cope with rising seas.” (Read more).