Latest news: September 1, 2011

New land in eroding La. wetlands: Cause for hope

By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press. August 31, 2011.

“WEST BAY, La. — In 2003, the Army Corps of Engineers cut a hole in the bank of the Mississippi River, miles from where the wending river ends its 2,320-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. The idea was simple: let the river run wild through the gap, and silt-laden waters would naturally do what they’ve done for thousands of years: build up new land…”

Gulf fishing in crisis, but is BP oil spill to blame?

By Mark Guarino, The Christian Science Monitor. August 31, 2011.

“Venice, La. — John Barrios sighs wearily after a full morning of shrimping in his 16-foot aluminum boat. His reddish-brown skin bears witness to a lifetime under a beating sun: He started drawing catch from these waters off a skiff in the 1930s.

He’s tired, there are too few shrimp, and prices are so low that going out each day seems almost futile. “My time is up,” he says…”

Marsh fire cause is investigated while helicopters dump water on the blaze

By Mark Schleifstein, The New Orleans Times-Picayune. August 31, 2011.

“The cause of the 50-acre marsh fire in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge was being investigated Wednesday by investigators with the Louisiana fire marshal and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on Wednesday, according to the New Orleans Fire Department. Louisiana Army National Guard helicopters equipped with Bambi buckets began a second day of water drops on the blaze…”

Coastal scientist discusses the anatomy of a wetlands fire

By Nicondra Norwood, FOX 8 News (New Orleans). August 31, 2011.

“Officials took a lot of criticism for taking so long to fight the New Orleans East marsh fire, but an environmental sciences professor at the University of New Orleans explains, not only is it incredibly difficult to put it out, but it’s a necessary natural process…”

$1.6M in bounties, and nutrias still wreck wetlands

By John McCoy, The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia). September 1, 2011.

“Bounty-collecting Louisiana residents have killed three-quarters of a million nutria in the past two years, yet apparently they haven’t put a dent in the rodents’ statewide population. That’s a shame, because the imported critters are wreaking havoc on the Bayou State’s ecosystem…”