Latest news: March 19, 2012
The Gulf gets its share: Sen. Shelby should be thanked for work on RESTORE Act
Editorial. The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.). March 17, 2012.
“The extent of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill became evident two years ago. That’s when Alabama and other Gulf Coast states began pushing legislation that would designate 80 percent of the fines levied for potential violations of the Clean Water Act to go to the restoration of the five most-affected states…” (Read more)
Restore Act takes a step forward
Editorial. The Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.). March 18, 2012.
“The federal Restore Act took another step toward becoming a reality last week. The U.S. Senate passed a transportation bill that contained the act as an amendment. If it eventually makes its way through Congress and is signed by the president, the Restore Act would devote much of the fines resulting from the 2010 oil spill to the states along the Gulf Coast…” (Read more)
Rubio’s misguided priorities
Opinion. Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, Fla.). March 19, 2012.
“U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s self-serving explanation of his vote against the RESTORE Act — he was the only U.S. senator on the Gulf Coast to do so — can’t disguise how shocking and disappointing the vote was…” (Read more)
Speaker Boehner weighs whether to take up Senate transportation bill
By Bruce Alpert, Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). March 19, 2012.
“Washington — This week, House Republicans are going to make some news. Speaker John Boehner is expected to announce whether the House will take up the recently passed Senate transportation bill, or something similar, or go in a significantly different direction. The speaker said he was considering the Senate bill because he’s been unable to build a majority for the original House GOP transportation bill…” (Read more)
Senate Finally Passes a Bill to Address the BP Oil Disaster
By Frances Beinecke, NRDC Switchboard. March 16, 2012.
“The Senate has finally passed its first piece of legislation responding to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico—one that places a welcome emphasis on reviving the wetlands, fishing grounds, and other ecosystems that sustain Gulf communities…” (Read more)
As climate changes, Louisiana seeks to lift a highway
By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post. March 18, 2012.
“GOLDEN MEADOW, La.— Here on the side of Louisiana’s Highway 1, next to Raymond’s Bait Shop, a spindly pole with Global Positioning System equipment and a cellphone stuck on top charts the water’s gradual encroachment on dry land…” (Read more)
Changes in master plan may benefit parish
By Nikki Buskey, Houma Courier (Houma, La.). March 17, 2012.
“After public outcry that the state had abandoned residents of central Terrebonne because the area was too expensive and difficult to protect, the $50 billion draft state master plan may have been revised to add marsh creation projects needed to buffer bayou communities…” (Read more)
Flood prep work continues
By Richard Burgess, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). March 19, 2012.
“Forecasters who keep an eye on the Mississippi River were already worried by this time last year. The winter had brought heavy snow farther north, and even if rainfall had been normal — which it wasn’t — there was a good potential for problems down south. It might be a bit early to breathe a sigh of relief, but no unusually high water is expected this spring in south Louisiana..” (Read more)
State funds run out on coastal erosion effort
By Bob Anderson, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). March 18, 2012.
“MANCHAC — Sloshing in the marsh grass on West Jones Island Friday, college students carried Christmas trees to what has become a traditional final use in southern Louisiana. Tens of thousands of these recycled trees now bolster the state’s coastal defenses, but state funding for such work by Southeastern Louisiana University has run out…” (Read more)
Levee proposal studied
By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press. March 18, 2012.
“NEW ORLEANS — The head of the Army Corps of Engineers says a panel of historians will study whether two of the main levee breaches that led to the flooding of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina should become national historic landmarks…” (Read more)
Louisiana blue crab earns a blue ribbon
By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). March 19, 2012.
“Thanks to a first-in-the-Gulf of Mexico designation, Louisiana blue crabs might appear more readily in restaurants and grocery stores across the globe. The designation of blue crab as a “certified sustainable fishery’’ might also fetch the state’s 3,000 blue crab commercial fishers more money by further differentiating their product…” (Read more)
Christmas trees are recycled in Bayou Sauvage to fight erosion
By Paul Purpura, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). March 18, 2012.
“Christmas trees, green and fresh, sticky with sap and smelling of the wintry outdoors, are a holiday delight for many New Orleans families. And when their needles turn brown and begin to fall, the trees are dragged to the curb. But that’s not bad news; indeed, the trees then begin new life as saviors of the Louisiana wetlands…” (Read more)
Program would require contracts to consider only locals for coastal jobs
By Jeremy Alford, Houma Courier (Houma, La.). March 18, 2012.
“BATON ROUGE — A New Orleans lawmaker wants the state to create a new program that would require contracts to initially consider only local workers for regional coastal-restoration and hurricane-protection projects…” (Read more)