Latest news: November 14, 2011

Congress needs urgency in passing bill on BP spill fines: An editorial

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). November 12, 2011.

“The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider legislation early next month that directs 80 percent of BP’s oil spill fines to Gulf Coast states, and that’s crucial timing for this important bill. Unless legislation directing most of the fines to the Gulf Coast is adopted quickly, it could get sidelined as the focus shifts to the 2012 elections and Congress slows down legislative activity…”

Obama administration asks Senate to restore funds for coastal ecosystem

By Bruce Alpert, Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). November 11, 2011.

“WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is asking the Senate to restore funding for the first phase of a federal program designed to reverse decades of damage to Louisiana’s ecosystem…”

NOAA Fisheries representative promotes RESTORE Act to help Gulf after BP disaster

By Josh Holton, WMNF 88.5 FM Community Radio (Tampa, Fl.). November 10, 2011.

“The Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout last year was one of the most damaging events for Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. Wednesday night Eckerd College hosted a lecture about the impact of the oil disaster by Cathy Tortorici, the Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Program Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce…”

Restoring the Central Wetlands to repair an important storm shield: An editorial

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). November 13, 2011.

“The Central Wetlands contained thousands of acres of swamp, marsh and forest before the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was built, cutting through natural ridges and bringing in destructive saltwater. Those wetlands were a critical shield against storm surge, and local and state officials have launched a project to restore a 30,000-acre triangle of the Central Wetlands so that they can protect the New Orleans area from future storms…”

Thanks for the small investment

By Editorial page staff, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). November 13, 2011.

“Gov. Bobby Jindal stopped in Lafourche Parish Wednesday to announce more than $11 million in state money to benefit local levee and water projects. The money is more than welcome, of course. And the projects it will help are more than needed…”

Duck-hunting season’s opening day comes with great optimism

By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). November 13, 2011.

“Shooting time was only five minutes behind us, but we already knew opening day of duck season was a big success in the Delacroix marsh. We could tell by the sound…”

Lease plan draws mixed reaction

By Cara Bayles, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). November 13, 2011.

“A five-year plan to sell federal leases on the Outer Continental Shelf released by the federal government last week includes extensive plans for new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. But the proposal has managed to illicit a lukewarm response from local industry advocates, who remain wary of the Obama administration’s commitment to granting permits…”

Hunters find ducks from many areas in Louisiana swamp

By Joe Macaluso, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). November 14, 2011.

“BATON ROUGE, La. — The first days of our waterfowl seasons usually produce lots of surprises — some good, some not so good. Terrific news came during summer’s first days when the May Breeding Count Survey was published, showing U.S. and Canadian waterfowl biologists counted more breeding ducks than any time in the survey’s 55-year history. Saturday, where hunters found water, they found ducks. Lots of ducks…”

Attorneys sue BP on behalf of Gulf fishermen

By Jeremy Alford, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). November 13, 2011.

“BATON ROUGE — A lawsuit raises new questions about a program BP set up to hire fishermen from Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast for oil-spill cleanup work…”