A review of the RESTORE Council's Initial Comprehensive Plan

A review of the RESTORE Council's Initial Comprehensive Plan

08.27.2013 | By A review of the RESTORE Council's Initial Comprehensive Plan

By Whit Remer and Elizabeth Weiner, Environmental Defense Fund Last week, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released the “Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy” for implementing parts of the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act, which was enacted into law in 2012 in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council was created by the RESTORE Act and comprises officials from five Gulf Coast states and six federal agencies. The …

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What is wildlife tourism?

08.23.2013 | By What is wildlife tourism?

This is the first in a series of posts about wildlife tourism and the Gulf Coast economy. By Will Lindsey and Rachel Schott, Environmental Defense Fund A new economic report by Datu Research LLC studied the important contribution that wildlife tourism provides to the economic vitality of 53 coastal counties and parishes across the Gulf Coast states. Wildlife tourism, which includes wildlife watching, recreational fishing and hunting, generates $19 billion per year in revenue for the Gulf Coast. Renowned for …

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Joint Ocean Commission Initiative report underscores importance of coastal restoration

08.07.2013 | By Joint Ocean Commission Initiative report underscores importance of coastal restoration

By Rachel Schott, Environmental Defense Fund In June, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a bipartisan 16-member council representing diverse ocean interests, released a new report, “Charting the Course: Securing the Future of America’s Oceans.” The report outlines important ocean reform and coastal restoration recommendations for Congress and the Obama Administration. Being an “ocean nation,” the health of the U.S. economy is closely tied to health of its oceans. For Gulf Coast residents, this specifically means the Gulf of Mexico. The …

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Gulf Tourism Depends on a Healthy Gulf

07.09.2013 | By Gulf Tourism Depends on a Healthy Gulf

PRESS RELEASE Contacts: Molly Moore, Sanderson Strategies Group, 202.682.3700, molly@sandersonstrategies.com Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org Gulf Tourism Depends on a Healthy Gulf New report shows wildlife tourism is central to Gulf Coast economy (New Orleans—July 9, 2013) The coastal environment of the Gulf of Mexico supports a $19 billion annual wildlife tourism industry that is highly dependent on critical investments in coastal environmental restoration, according to a survey released today by Datu Research LLC. “Wildlife Tourism and the …

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What does a “record-setting dead zone” mean for Louisiana’s coast?

06.25.2013 | By What does a “record-setting dead zone” mean for Louisiana’s coast?

By Rachel Schott, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign Dead zone. Words that bring images of military exercises or deserted, war-torn areas of land, but certainly not an acceptable description of a region that contains some of the nation’s most vibrant and diverse ecosystems, wildlife and habitats. Right? Recent studies released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and conducted by Louisiana State University, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, and University of Michigan scientists forecast a “record-setting dead zone” for the …

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Path Forward plan must focus on ecosystem restoration

02.06.2013 | By Path Forward plan must focus on ecosystem restoration

By Whit Remer, Policy Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council recently released “The Path Forward to Restoring the Gulf Coast: A Proposed Comprehensive Plan.” The RESTORE Act, signed into law in July, required the newly created Restoration Council to publish a Proposed Plan within six months of the legislation becoming law. Only six pages in length, the Path Forward provides a general framework for the Restoration Council to follow while developing their more robust Initial Comprehensive …

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Study on sedimentation will help planners develop effective river diversions

12.04.2012 | By Study on sedimentation will help planners develop effective river diversions

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, National Wildlife Federation This year, drought conditions throughout most of the country have left the Mississippi River flowing at a near all-time low. This is a stark comparison to 2011, when heavy rains and a large snowmelt in the spring sent record levels of water and sediment flowing down the river. At the Old River Control Structure north of Baton Rouge, the flow of the river is split, with 70 percent continuing down …

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A Look at the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s Science Coordination Team

11.20.2012 | By A Look at the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s Science Coordination Team

By Alisha Renfro, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, National Wildlife Federation In the aftermath of the BP oil disaster, President Obama created the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force through an executive order in October 2010. The mission of this Environmental Protection Agency-led group was to develop a long-term, holistic and science-based ecosystem restoration plan for the Gulf Coast. Included in this effort was the Science Coordination Team which involved more than 70 scientists from federal and state agencies who provided scientific …

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Poll: Hunters and Anglers Overwhelmingly Support Gulf Clean-up

09.26.2012 | By Poll: Hunters and Anglers Overwhelmingly Support Gulf Clean-up

Sportsmen and women want fines from 2010 gulf oil disaster used to restore critical coastal ecosystems. This was originally posted on VanishingParadise.org. A new national poll released yesterday shows that hunters and anglers prioritize protecting the gulf ecosystem and using fines paid by BP and other parties responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster to be used for gulf restoration. The poll conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting shows threats to America’s conservation heritage are priority issues for sportsmen and women, …

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Conference: Answering Fundamental Questions about Mississippi River Delta Restoration

09.26.2012 | By Conference: Answering Fundamental Questions about Mississippi River Delta Restoration

By Shannon Hood, Environmental Defense Fund On October 9 and 10, the Mississippi River Delta Science and Engineering Special Team (SEST) will host its first conference, titled “Answering Fundamental Questions about Mississippi River Delta Restoration.” The SEST was convened over two years ago and is comprised of leading engineers, economists and scientists from around the country with specialties ranging from river engineering to coastal ecology to sociology. This team brings a new approach to Mississippi River Delta restoration, in that …

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Geosynthetics Industry Poised to Grow as Gulf Coast Restoration Ramps Up

07.26.2012 | By Geosynthetics Industry Poised to Grow as Gulf Coast Restoration Ramps Up

NEWS RELEASE Contact: Elizabeth Skree, 202-553-2543, eskree@edf.org Geosynthetics Industry Poised to Grow as Gulf Coast Restoration Ramps Up RESTORE Act will increase environmental restoration, spur economic growth (Washington, D.C.—July 26, 2012) What are geosynthetics and why are they central to the creation of jobs and expansion of coastal restoration projects? A new Duke University study, “GEOSYNTHETICS: Coastal Management Applications in the Gulf of Mexico,” details how the emerging geosynthetics industry can create jobs benefitting nearly 200 employee locations in 36 states, …

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Groups Commend Congress on RESTORE Act

06.28.2012 | By Groups Commend Congress on RESTORE Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:  Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, eskree@edf.org Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, guidrye@nwf.org Kevin Chandler, National Audubon Society, 202.596.0960, kchandler@audubon.org Heather Layman, The Nature Conservancy, 703.475.1733, hlayman@tnc.org David Willett, Ocean Conservancy, 202.351.0465, dwillett@oceanconservancy.org Mary Babic, Oxfam America, 617.517.9475, mbabic@oxfamamerica.org GROUPS COMMEND CONGRESS ON RESTORE ACT Legislation restoring Gulf Coast ecosystems and economy included in transportation bill  (Washington, D.C. – June 28, 2012) Local and national conservation groups have issued the following joint statement in response to the Senate and House …

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Getting back to nature: New study looks at the past, present and future of the Mississippi River Delta

06.04.2012 | By Getting back to nature: New study looks at the past, present and future of the Mississippi River Delta

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D, Coastal Scientist, National Wildlife Federation The Mississippi River has played an important role in the history, physical and economic growth of the United States. However, the Mississippi River and the delta region it built didn’t always look the way they do today. In an article by Michael Blum, Ph.D. and Harry Roberts, Ph.D. titled “The Mississippi Delta Region: Past, Present, and Future” published in The Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences (vol. 40), researchers …

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Managing the Mississippi River for ecosystem restoration, navigation and flood protection: A win-win-win

05.16.2012 | By Managing the Mississippi River for ecosystem restoration, navigation and flood protection: A win-win-win

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D., Coastal Scientist, National Wildlife Federation The Mississippi River is one of the largest rivers in the world, carrying water, nutrients and sediment across America’s heartland, through Louisiana and into the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study is a Louisiana Coastal Area project that has recently been initiated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The purpose of this 5-year, large-scale study is to …

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Study looks at sediment and water flow through Mississippi River, helps scientists plan effective restoration projects

05.01.2012 | By Study looks at sediment and water flow through Mississippi River, helps scientists plan effective restoration projects

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation The sediment and water transported by the Mississippi River built much of the ecologically-rich Mississippi River Delta and Louisiana coastline. But over the last decade, manmade modifications throughout the river basin to improve navigation and flood protection have disconnected the river from its delta. This has reduced the amount of sediment carried by the river and severed the connection between the river and the adjacent wetlands it naturally built. Sediment is a …

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