Latest news: October 3, 2011

Some crawfish, mussels, birds, plants in Louisiana could get endangered species status

By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 3, 2011.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will conduct an in-depth review of 374 aquatic-dependent species in the southeastern United States, including 25 species in Louisiana, to determine whether they warrant threatened or endangered species status…”

Real trouble could be ahead for Gulf fish, wildlife, researcher warns

By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 3, 2011.

“Has the canary in Louisiana’s coastal ecosystem started coughing? That question echoed across the Gulf last week after the release of a study led by LSU revealed that the Gulf killifish, a lowly marsh minnow known locally as a “cocahoe,” showed signs of the hydrocarbon poisoning that was a precursor to the collapse of some fish and wildlife populations in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill…”

The conservative case for saving the coast: Bob Marshall

By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 2, 2011.

“The water keeps rising, the coast keeps sinking and the nation still ignores us. So, not surprisingly, I keep getting this question: What needs to happen for the country to finally realize Southeast Louisiana is running out of time? There’s no getting around one of the answers:…”

House deadlocked over distributing oil spill fines

By George Altman, The Mississippi Press (Mobile, Al.). October 2, 2011.

“WASHINGTON — Some 17 months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf Coast lawmakers in the U.S. House remain unable to agree on a bill to send spill fines to the affected areas…”

Fish still suffering after BP oil spill

By Kate Spinner, Herald Tribune (Sarasota, Fl.). October 2, 2011.

“Signs of last year’s BP oil spill have nearly vanished from the marshes along Louisiana’s Gulf coast, but the fish there are still turning up with life-threatening deformities and reproductive problems…”

Coast report to be released Wednesday

By Nikki Buskey, Daily Comet (Lafourche Parish, La.). October 1, 2011.

“A long-awaited report detailing the federal strategy to restore the Gulf Coast will be released Wednesday for public review…”

Northwest Florida officials watch closely to see where BP fine money ends up

By Tom McLaughlin, Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fl.). October 1, 2011.

“The amount hasn’t even been determined yet, but the battle over where funds collected from fines assessed against BP will end up has already begun in Washington, D.C…”

Letter: Group fought cypress mulching

By Dean Wilson (Atchafalaya Basinkeeper), The Baton Rouge Advocate. October 1, 2011.

“The Sept. 26 article ‘Ex-agriculture commissioner backed debt; credit union wants state to pay’ left questions with regard to why ‘Wal-Mart decided in late 2007 to stop buying Louisiana cypress mulch.’…”

Interior plans to seek BP fines in ‘very near future,’ but no firm date

By Ben Geman, The Hill. September 30, 2011.

“The Interior Department is planning to formally seek fines against BP and other companies involved in last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill very soon, but not quite as fast as a top official predicted earlier this month…”

Fourchon restoration project to begin in December

By Nikki Buskey, Daily Comet (Lafourche Parish, La.). September 30, 2011.

“A $28.6 million project aimed at rebuilding beach, dunes and marsh along West Belle Pass at Fourchon Beach should be under way by December…”

Festival shines spotlight on fragile wetlands

By Thad Angelloz, Daily Comet (Lafourche Parish, La.). September 30, 2011.

“Houma blues musician Tab Benoit is once again bringing attention to the plight of south Louisiana’s wetlands thanks to his involvement with an annual festival spotlighting the importance of the state’s coastline…”