Coastal Desk

Coastal Desk
7:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Panel Deciding Levee Board Nominees May Determine Lawsuit Against Oil And Gas

A little-known state panel could have a big effect on the future of a lawsuit filed against the oil and gas industry last year by a south Louisiana flood board.

The nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East is set Thursday to nominate applicants for two people on the board whose terms have expired.

One is Paul Kemp, who supports the flood board's lawsuit seeking to hold oil and gas companies accountable for coastal damage.

Coastal Desk
7:28 am
Wed September 17, 2014

New Orleans Adding Water Management To Zoning Regulations

A group of New Orleans based developers, city planners, landscape architects and community members gathered at the Propeller business incubator offices last night to discuss potential changes in city standards for water management.

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Coastal Desk
1:26 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled nearly two weeks ago that BP acted recklessly in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident and oil spill.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:04 am

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Coastal Desk
8:47 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Coastal Desk Visits Austin To Learn From Their Water Management Strategy

A sign in a bathroom at Mueller, the new sustainable, transit-oriented community in Austin, Texas.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

This week our coastal team is visiting the city of Austin, Texas with a group of New Orleans city officials, including City Council members Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell, and representatives from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the Sewerage and Water Board.

The goal is to learn about how Austin manages its water system, and see if there’s some takeaways as the city of New Orleans tries to create a new water strategy that integrates old and new design.

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Coastal Desk
11:09 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Coastal Rundown: The 2014 Society Of Environmental Journalists Conference

A sketch of a 9th Ward house by Francesca Lyman, Seattle journalist, sketch artist and Society of Environmental Journalists Conference attendee.
Credit Francesca Lyman

The 24th Annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference took place in New Orleans last week, bringing to town a few hundred environmental reporters, advocates, scientists, engineers, politicians and more.

Participants got out of the conference rooms to see the levees, bayous, marshes, sinkholes, refineries and rivers that all contribute to the complex region that is Louisiana’s Gulf coast.

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Coastal Desk
11:07 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Ruling In BP Civil Case Sets The Stage With Potential Additional Funds For Coastal Restoration

The Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire.
Credit United States Coast Guard / Wikimedia Commons

With a ruling finally in on the civil action suit against BP, both sides are looking ahead to what’s next. BP plans to appeal the decision, and plaintiffs are hoping to see some more money flowing from the oil giant to coastal restoration projects.

The ballroom of a New Orleans Hilton was packed with reporters in town for the Society of Environmental Journalists conference recently.

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Environment
11:44 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Old And New Strategies Needed To Manage Water In New Orleans

New Orleans, 1913 map, showing system of drainage culverts, canals and pumping stations.
Credit Times Picayune archives

When it comes annual rainfall, New Orleans is the third wettest city in the country, next to Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. Historically, this city below sea level has dealt with large amounts of rain by trying to keep as much water out as possible. Now, urban planners, land conservationists and city officials are trying out new strategies to manage water. Keeping more water in, rather than trying to pump it out, may be better for the city than we thought.

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Environment
6:58 am
Thu September 4, 2014

'Losing Ground' Maps Show Louisiana's Coast Disappear

Ryan Lambert of Cajun Fishing Adventures puts a personal face on the mapping project "Losing Ground."
Ellis Lucia for The Lens/ProPublica

Bob Marshall has covered Louisiana’s disappearing coast for decades, including his recent series with Fred Kasten, “Last Call” on WWNO. Now he has a new project, Losing Ground, a collaboration between nonprofit newsroom the Lens, where Marshall is Environment Reporter, and the news nonprofit ProPublica.

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Environment
6:41 am
Tue August 26, 2014

River Diversions And The Fate Of Louisiana's Coast

The Wax Lake Delta, created by a diversion of the Atchafalaya River.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

A big part of Louisiana’s coastal Master Plan centers around something called “diversions.” Fresh water from the Mississippi River is diverted so that the water, and the silt it carries, can rebuild the sinking coast. But this technique, a centerpiece of Louisiana's coastal Master Plan, is contentious.

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Environment
11:50 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Vanishing Points In Terrebonne Parish Part Deaux

Chauvin Sculpture Garden.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

The best way to understand Louisiana’s rapidly changing coastal map may be to look from above. That’s how you see the small highways headed south, slim like bony fingers, disappearing into a blue backdrop. What a map can’t express are the histories, hopes and desires of communities along the bayous of the Gulf Coast.

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