Report: Reengineer Mississippi River Delta To Protect Nation’s Economic, Ecological Assets

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Report: Reengineer Mississippi River Delta To Protect Nation’s Economic, Ecological Assets

04.11.2012 | By Report: Reengineer Mississippi River Delta To Protect Nation’s Economic, Ecological Assets

Scientists call for “immediate action” to address disintegration of delta News Release (Baton Rouge, La.—April 11, 2012) Building a series of engineered structures called diversions along the lower Mississippi River will yield tens of billions of dollars in net annual benefits to the nation and hedge against future disasters, according to a new report co-authored by 22 prominent scientists and engineers. The report, “Answering 10 Fundamental Questions about the Mississippi River Delta,” makes a scientific and economic case for restoring the …

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New NWF Report: A Degraded Gulf of Mexico

04.10.2012 | By New NWF Report: A Degraded Gulf of Mexico

This story was originally posted by the National Wildlife Federation. Wildlife and Wetlands Two Years into the Gulf Oil Disaster By Jaclyn McDougal, National Wildlife Federation. As the two-year mark of the Deepwater Horizon blowout approaches, the National Wildlife Federation issued a new report today examining the health of the Gulf’s wildlife and wetlands. Impacts from the Gulf oil disaster will be unfolding for years, if not decades, and many species of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico will need …

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Final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan approved by CPRA

03.23.2012 | By Final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan approved by CPRA

This story was originally posted on the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana‘s Coast Currents blog. By Scott Madere, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana With a unanimous vote of its members, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) approved the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan at its March 21, 2012 meeting held at the Louisiana State Archives. The completed draft represents a milestone for Louisiana: a comprehensive science-based plan for coastal restoration and protection, built to …

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New research will help scientists and coastal planners design wetland restoration projects

03.20.2012 | By New research will help scientists and coastal planners design wetland restoration projects

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation Wetlands are some of the most economically valuable and ecologically productive environments in the world. Often considered “the kidneys of the landscape,” wetlands help decrease the effects of floods and droughts, cleanse polluted waters, protect shorelines, control erosion and serve as sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide. They are also important habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. But human activities and natural processes have greatly reduced the amount of wetlands worldwide. …

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New report outlines recommendations for anticipating sea level rise impacts on Louisiana’s coast

02.29.2012 | By New report outlines recommendations for anticipating sea level rise impacts on Louisiana’s coast

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation Rising sea levels expose low-lying coastal areas to increased flooding, saltwater intrusion, and erosion, which can further increase their vulnerability to the effects of storms. The Mississippi River Delta along coastal Louisiana is particularly sensitive to sea level rise, as the river-driven geology causes the land to sink, amplifying local sea level rise. In order for coastal managers to design restoration projects that will anticipate patterns of land loss and protect coastal …

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CPRA conducts successful week of public meetings on 2012 Coastal Master Plan

02.07.2012 | By CPRA conducts successful week of public meetings on 2012 Coastal Master Plan

This story was originally posted on the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s Coast Currents blog. By Scott M. Madere, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana From Jan. 23-25, 2012, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) of Louisiana held a series of public meetings in New Orleans, Houma and Lake Charles to receive public feedback regarding the recently-released draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan. The public comment period, which continues until Feb. 25, is an essential part of refining the …

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New methodology makes carbon markets work for wetlands

01.31.2012 | By New methodology makes carbon markets work for wetlands

By Brian Jackson and Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund When society asks who will pay for Louisiana wetlands restoration, people usually think of government or big oil. While both have a huge role, recent developments suggest there may soon be a way for a broad range of American and international businesses to get involved and help pay for restoration projects that will benefit everyone. A new methodology released by Tierra Resources LLC outlines a system to calculate and measure carbon …

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Researchers examine Gulf oil spill’s effects on southeastern Louisiana salt marsh

01.30.2012 | By Researchers examine Gulf oil spill’s effects on southeastern Louisiana salt marsh

By Alisha Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation The BP oil disaster introduced more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, just off the southeastern Louisiana coast. An extensive effort is currently underway to assess the full damage of this catastrophic event on the rich and complex Gulf ecosystem. A study lead by Deepak Mishra, Ph.D. and published in Remote Sensing of Environment (vol. 118) is the first look at short-term impacts the oil spill had on …

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New study examines oil and gas production’s increased effects on Louisiana coastal land loss

01.11.2012 | By New study examines oil and gas production’s increased effects on Louisiana coastal land loss

By Alisha A. Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation The Mississippi River Delta is experiencing the highest relative sea-level rise in the U.S. due to the combination of global sea-level rise and local subsidence (sinking land). High subsidence is typical of river deltas where rapid sediment accumulation also traps a great deal of water. Over time, as layers of new sediment are deposited, water is squeezed out of the underlying deposits, causing compaction and the land surface to sink. Subsidence rates …

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Scientists suggest evaluating ecosystem services to better understand Gulf oil spill impacts

12.21.2011 | By Scientists suggest evaluating ecosystem services to better understand Gulf oil spill impacts

By Alisha Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded, resulting in a spill of 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, this oil spill triggered the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process, which determines the extent and severity of the injury to natural resources. The complexity of the GoM ecosystem—coupled with the scale of the event—poses a serious challenge to …

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84% of Florida Voters Support Bill to Spend BP Fines on Gulf Restoration

12.12.2011 | By 84% of Florida Voters Support Bill to Spend BP Fines on Gulf Restoration

75% of State Voters More Likely to Support Candidates Who Back Bill (Tallahassee, Fla.—Dec. 12, 2011) Eighty-four percent of Florida voters and 92 percent of Panhandle voters support a bill approved by a Senate committee that would ensure the BP oil spill fines are spent on Gulf restoration, according to a new poll released today at news conferences in Tallahassee and Pensacola. The poll also showed 75 percent of Florida voters and 82 percent of Panhandle voters are more likely …

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Task Force Restoration Strategy is a Vital Next Step Toward Whole Gulf Recovery

12.05.2011 | By Task Force Restoration Strategy is a Vital Next Step Toward Whole Gulf Recovery

By Elizabeth Skree and Whit Remer, Environmental Defense Fund Today, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force released their final Ecosystem Restoration Strategy for the Gulf Coast.  After the BP oil disaster, the President established the Task Force through an executive order and charged the group with developing a restoration plan for the Gulf Coast.  You can download the strategy document here. This restoration strategy is a vital step in fulfilling the promises President Obama made in his first oval …

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RESTORE Act Fines Could Provide Job Opportunities in Gulf Coast, 32 Other States

12.05.2011 | By RESTORE Act Fines Could Provide Job Opportunities in Gulf Coast, 32 Other States

Economic Study Released 2 Days Before House Hearing on RESTORE Act  (Tallahassee, FL–December 5, 2011) The Clean Water Act penalties from last year’s BP oil disaster could kick start the launch of a long-term investment in ecosystem restoration and create jobs that would benefit at least 140 businesses with nearly 400 employee locations in 37 states, including more than 260 in the Gulf Coast and nearly 60 in Florida, according to a new Duke University study. The report—“RESTORING THE GULF …

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NWF Releases Comprehensive Guide to Louisiana Nonstructural Programs

11.23.2011 | By NWF Releases Comprehensive Guide to Louisiana Nonstructural Programs

Over the past few months, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has contracted the National Hazard Mitigation Association (NHMA) to develop a white paper report that captures the state of nonstructural mitigation in Louisiana. The report, “Safe, Secure, and Sustainable: Advancing Nonstructural Hazard Mitigation in Coastal Louisiana,” describes the challenges and impediments that have plagued the nonstructural programs of the past and provides recommendations to improve programs at both the local implementation and national policy levels. Report appendices include a 300-page comprehensive …

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Study Analyzes Damaging Impacts of Hurricanes on Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands

11.15.2011 | By Study Analyzes Damaging Impacts of Hurricanes on Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands

By Alisha Renfro, Ph.D., National Wildlife Federation Hurricanes are powerful storms that have the ability to alter coastal landscapes in a few hours. The wetlands of coastal Louisiana are similar to wetlands elsewhere, but they are often more susceptible to storm impacts due to their low elevation and the thick, organic-rich soil (and the lack of mineral sediment) that dominates much of the region. In a new study, “Hurricane Impacts on Coastal Wetlands: A Half-Century Record of Storm-Generated Features from …

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