Coastal Desk

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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Coastal Desk
5:28 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Five Years After BP Spill, It's Safe To Eat Gulf Seafood... If You Can Find It

An employee at the New Orleans Fish House filets puppy drum for a midday delivery to local restaurants.
Credit Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

Monday, April 20 marks the fifth anniversary of the 2010 BP oil spill that sent millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Right after the spill, seafood restaurants were bombarded with concerns about the safety of what was being served, and where it came from. Today, the public has stopped asking questions and is ready to eat, but now there’s a supply issue. While marketing campaigns are spreading a message of safe and bountiful Gulf seafood, others in the industry worry about the future.

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Coastal Desk
5:31 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Pearl River On 'Top 10' List Of Most Endangered Rivers

The Pearl River by Honey Island Swamp in Slidell, LA.
Credit Gulf Restoration Network

American Rivers came out with its 2015 list of top 10 most endangered rivers. The Pearl River that runs through Louisiana and Mississippi is included on this national list.

Each of the ten rivers are called "endangered" because they face some kind of big change on the horizon. In the case of Pearl River, it’s whether a new dam will be built in Jackson, Mississippi.

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Coastal Desk
12:38 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Mapping Louisiana's Disappearing Coast

GPS device shows open water as land in Bayou Petit Calliou
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

As we head into the spring and summer seasons, people around the state will hit Louisiana waters looking for crabs, shrimp and fish. And as locals tune up their boats and head out onto bayous and into the Gulf, they’ll realize it might be time for a new map.

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Coastal Desk
12:53 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Coastal Rundown: The Wetlands Youth Summit

A favorite image of the coast sent in by a Wetlands Youth Summit participant
Listening Coast

Earlier this month, the Wetlands Youth Summit took place at the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center in Houma, Louisiana. High school students interested in the challenges gulf coast communities are facing came together to learn from each other, and talk solutions.

The #ListeningCoast teamed up with the summit to see what these teenagers are most concerned with, and whether or not they see themselves living on the coast later on down the road.

Here’s what people wrote in via text:

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