Latest news: October 11, 2011

Future of the Gulf

By Editorial Staff, The New York Times (New York, Ny.). October 8, 2011.

“President Obama made four promises when he addressed the nation two months after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He said the oil would be cleaned up. People would be compensated for their losses. Government oversight would be strengthened. A long-term plan would be put in place to restore a coastal environment that had suffered grievous environmental damage before the spill…”

U.S. House, do right by the Gulf Coast: An editorial

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 8, 2011.

“Gulf Coast House members have united behind a bill to direct 80 percent of the environmental fines that will be assessed from the BP spill to the states that were harmed by the disaster, and that’s a critical step. The Senate has already passed legislation to direct 80 percent of the fines to the states that were injured by the spill…”

Gulf Shrimp Are Scarce This Season; Answers, Too

By Campbell Robertson, The New York Times (New York, Ny.). October 10, 2011.

“LAFITTE, La. — The dock at Bundy’s Seafood is quiet, the trucks are empty and a crew a fraction of the normal size sits around a table waiting for something to do. But the most telling indicator that something is wrong is the smell. It smells perfectly fine…”

Staving off extinction: An editorial

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 10, 2011.

“Louisiana and the southeastern United States are a haven for freshwater species, with a richness of life forms that rivals the tropical rainforest, according to a conservation group. But the Southeast shares another characteristic with the rainforest: It’s under heavy threat of extinction. That’s why the Center for Biological Diversity and a number of other groups filed a petition asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list 404 species as threatened or endangered…”

RESTORE Act is a first step to full recovery

By U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport and South Mississippi). October 9, 2011.

“Last week, my Gulf States colleagues and I introduced the RESTORE Act, which would direct to the Gulf Coast states 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines assessed to the responsible parties. This is an important first step to put in place a fair process that allows us to restore the Gulf Coast region that was directly impacted by the disaster. The RESTORE Act wisely empowers local leaders to direct recovery efforts and address community needs. And I am proud to say, we’ve united as a coastal delegation in a bipartisan effort to build consensus to best address the full economic and ecological restoration of coastal communities…”

Bill would give most of BP fines to states

By Deborah Barfield Barry, Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Ms.). October 7, 2011.

“After months of negotiations, Gulf Coast lawmakers reached a compromise and introduced in the House this week a bill that would steer most of the fines collected from the BP oil spill to the region for recovery efforts…”

Ducks Unlimited says time is right for hunters to dig deep again

By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 9, 2011.

“Given the current political climate, it’s easy to consider Dale Hall a hopeless optimist when reading this: the CEO of Ducks Unlimited is pushing Congress to raise the price of the federal duck stamp from $15 to $25. But then you want to change “hopeless optimist” to “just plain crazy” when you read this: While waiting for Congress to act, DU is asking hunters to “Double Up for Ducks” by voluntarily buying two of the $15 stamps instead of the required one…”

Wetlands festival strikes familiar chord

By Cara Bayles, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). October 8, 2011.

“Crowds flocked to Southdown Plantation this weekend for a festival that aims to raise awareness about the persistent threat the erosion of Louisiana’s wetlands poses to the area…”

Seafood safety tests go online

By Nikki Buskey, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). October 7, 2011.

“Anyone concerned about Gulf seafood in the wake of last year’s oil spill can check a new state website that includes the results of repeated tests that officials say show the fish, shrimp and other sea creatures are safe to eat…”

No surprise, but a call to action

By Editorial staff, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). October 7, 2011.

“There are no surprises in the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Task Force’s new report on restoration. In fact, much of the report is made up of information that is old hat for many folks around south Louisiana…”