Coastal Desk

Coastal Desk
12:29 am
Mon May 18, 2015

An Art/Science Mashup Births 'Microscopic Sirens'

A screenshot of the a view under the microscope of the microorganisms existing in a water sample taken from Blind River.
Credit Tim McLean

What happens when you put an artist and a scientist in the same boat? The local artist residency ‘A Studio In The Woods’ aimed to find out, with their new fellowship "Flint and Steel: Cross-disciplinary Combustion". It matches artists with Tulane University faculty to explore social and environmental change through art.

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Coastal Desk
7:04 am
Fri May 15, 2015

New Orleans Planners Talk About Zoning And New Vision For Water Management

Article 23 of the new comprehensive zoning ordinance

The New Orleans City Council just passed the first new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in 40 years. One part of the ordinance, Article 23, mandates a more “green” approach to water in the city — specifically, all the extra water we get from heavy rain and storms.

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Coastal Desk
9:42 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Recycled Christmas Trees Used To Build Up Land In Bayou Sauvage

The bundles of christmas trees waiting to be deployed.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson WWNO

Who's still thinking about Christmas in spring? The New Orleans Department of Sanitation, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Guard. This generation-long partnership comes together for the annual Christmas tree drop. Christmas trees are picked up curbside after the new year, packaged into bundles, and dropped via helicopter into a local wetlands area to build back land mass. The National Guard uses it as a training exercise, and the nearby wildlife refuge Bayou Sauvage gets a coastal restoration project.

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Coastal Rundown
12:47 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Coastal Rundown: A 'BP, Pay Up!' Protest

The Gulf South Rising Coalition led a march and rally to raise awareness of ongoing impacts in the Gulf of Mexico five years after the BP oil spill.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

It's been five years since the 2010 BP oil spill. On the day of the actual anniversary, a march and rally took place in the Central Business District to commemorate the people and places impacted by the spill. Marchers went from Lafayette Square to Jackson Square, dressed in all black to represent the 210 million gallons of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Coastal Desk
4:03 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Experts Debate Damage To Ecosystem

Fresh oil puddles on the white sand in Orange Beach, Ala., during the BP oil spill in 2010.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 11:23 pm

At the Gulf State Park Pier in Orange Beach, Ala., Wetzel Wood casts his fishing line into the rough surf of the Gulf of Mexico. He pulls his bait, a cigar minnow, through the water just beyond where the waves break for the shore.

"On a good day you'd catch king mackerel, Spanish mackerel," he says. Wood first learned to fish at the pier with his grandfather in 1969. "I've seen a lot of different things out here. It's been wonderful."

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Coastal Desk
9:11 am
Mon April 20, 2015

A million dead birds and five years later, scientists still struggling to assess BP spill's impact

Brown Pelicans nesting on an island in Cat Bay. Scientists are still charting the impact of the 2010 BP oil spill on birds in South Louisiana.
Credit Erin Krall / WWNO

Five years ago on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the Louisiana coast. Scientists are still studying the effects of more than 3 million barrels of oil that a federal court determined gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. And those evaluating the effects on birds are still unsure what to expect.

Oil-covered pelicans became the icons of what happened when the oil seeped into the marshes on the Louisiana coast. That damage was clear.

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Coastal Desk
7:28 am
Mon April 20, 2015

BP Oil Disaster 5 Years On: An Interview With Former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser

Billy Nungesser, Former Plaquemines Parish President, speaks to locals at Lil Gs diner in Belle Chasse.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Billy Nungesser was the President of Plaquemines Parish five years ago when the BP oil disaster happened. Nungesser’s constituency of around 23,000 residents were some of the hardest hit along the Gulf Coast.

For months after the disaster, Nungesser was a constant presence on national television, taking on both industry and government officials over their handling of the spill and cleanup.

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Coastal Desk
2:47 am
Mon April 20, 2015

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Effects Linger And Recovery Is Slow

Pelicans are nesting at Queen Bess Island in Barataria Bay. Five years ago, the nesting season here was marred by the oil gushing out of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:04 pm

Five years ago, BP's out-of-control oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Eleven workers were killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig. But it was more than a deadly accident — the blast unleashed the nation's worst offshore environmental catastrophe.

In the spring and summer of 2010, oil gushed from the Macondo well for nearly three months. More than 3 million barrels of Louisiana light crude fouled beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida, affecting wildlife and livelihoods.

Today, the spill's impacts linger.

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Coastal Desk
9:23 am
Sun April 19, 2015

Five Years After The BP Oil Disaster Is It Safer To Work Offshore?

Oil workers practice fire fighting at the Fletcher Technical Community College in Houma.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Five years ago an off-shore explosion killed 11 workers and created a massive 210 million gallon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. There have been questions ever since about how the accident could have been prevented and how to improve off-shore safety standards.

Carl Moore started working on off-shore supply boats back in the 1980s.

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Coastal Desk
4:28 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Heavy Rains Mean Flash Floods For New Orleans

Mother and toddler daughter walking in the rain in New Orleans.
Credit Bart Everson / Wikimedia Commons

There have been flash flood warnings for Southeast Louisiana this week. And while areas around town flood, the city of New Orleans is poised to pass a new zoning ordinance that will help with some of that water. But not all of it. 

Between 2-4 inches of rain are expected to fall over the next few days, and that makes it hard to do some basic things. Like get in your car.   

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