Coastal Desk

Environment
7:18 am
Fri April 25, 2014

New Coastal Index Measures Population Shifts, Economic Opportunity In Changes To Land And Water

Sunset on the Mississippi River, with a view of New Orleans.
NOAA

The Data Center released its first Coastal Index this week. WWNO's Jack Hopke sat down with Executive Director Allison Plyer and Senior Research Fellow George Hobor to learn more.

Among the lessons learned, data since 2005 show many coastal communities, like Chauvin and Dulac, are losing residents. Those choosing to stay are more likely to be poor than those who leave. That means the remaining population is more vulnerable to events like storms, with fewer resources to help them bounce back after disaster.

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Green Minute
5:57 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Green Minute: Myths Of Recycling, Part Two

Plastic bottles doing what they do when they get recycled.
Credit Hans / pixabay

Welcome to part two of the myths of recycling (here's part one in case you missed it).

Don’t keep a lid on it! That’s right. Plastic caps and lids are small and difficult to sort. They also keep liquids and other contaminants inside the plastic containers. So trash the lids and make sure your plastics are fully cleaned before placing them in your recycling bin.

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Environment
8:40 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Louisiana Highway 1: The Wild Game Supper Of Larose

Aaron Breaux stirs a pot of alligator sauce piquante at the Wild Game Supper, Larose, Louisiana
Eve Troeh

Louisiana Highway 1, or just LA-1, is the longest continuous road in the state, running from the northeast corner down to Grand Isle. One particular stretch of it poses a particular challenge: as coastal erosion and sea level rise continue at rapid rates in southern Louisiana, LA-1 is more consistently flooded. This leaves residents and anyone who needs to travel the road inconvenienced at best, and in peril at worst.

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Environment
10:40 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Telltale Rainbow Sheens Show Thousands Of Spills Across The Gulf

The 300,000 wells drilled in Louisiana are connected by tens of thousands of miles of pipelines that are vulnerable to leaks, like this one in a coastal marsh.
Gulf Restoration Network

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 11:26 am

Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.

"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."

It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.

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Green Minute
7:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

The Green Minute: Myths Of Recycling, Part One

Bales of crushed plastic.
Credit Michal Maňas / wikimedia commons

New Orleans has had curbside recycling for a few years now, but many people are still skeptical that the city is actually recycling what we leave out for pick up. Do you think that everything you place into your recycling bin is going straight to the trash?

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Environment
7:30 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Barataria Bay, 4 Years After The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Melanie Driscoll, director of bird conservation for Audubon's Louisiana Coastal Initiative, examines the remains of a Forster's Tern found on Cat Island. The island shows scant signs of life four years after the BP oil spill.
Credit Eileen Fleming / WWNO

As Sunday’s four-year anniversary of the BP oil spill approaches, environmental groups headed out into one of the areas most heavily oiled in the disaster. There, they looked at what effects that oil could be having on wetlands, and inspected the latest damage from coastal erosion, ongoing before and after the spill.

It takes about a half-hour on John Stubbs’ 22-foot fishing boat to get from the Myrtle Grove Marina in Plaquemines Parish to Bay Jimmy in Barataria Bay.

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Environment
2:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

As La. Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay

Man-made canals built for the oil and gas industry cut through wetland. The industry argues those canals aren't to blame for coastal erosion.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 3:33 pm

Louisiana's coast is disappearing at the rate of about a football field an hour. Since the 1930s, the Gulf of Mexico has swallowed up an area the size of Delaware.

You can see the water encroaching in Delacroix in St. Bernard Parish, less than an hour southeast of New Orleans. Here, a narrow crescent of land known locally as the "end of the world" is where the road abruptly comes to a dead end; in the distance, you see the tops of now-submerged trees.

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Environment
3:36 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

For The First Time In 70 Years, Wild Whooping Cranes Have Laid Eggs In Louisiana

A pair of wild Whooping Cranes has produced eggs in Louisiana for the first time in seven decades.
Credit Michael Seymour / LDWF

A mated pair of Whooping Cranes has produced eggs in the Louisiana wild for the first time in 70 years, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced Tuesday.

The announcement, made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham at the 13th North American Crane Workshop in Lafayette, is a watershed moment in the reintroduction of the endangered birds to the wild. Once widespread, the Whooping Crane population had plummeted to just 21 total birds by the 1940s, mostly due to hunting and the conversion of wetland habitat into agricultural fields.

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NolaVie
4:50 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Managing Menhaden: A New Plan For 'The Most Important Fish In The Sea'

A school of Menhaden fish.
Crabby Taxonomist flickr.com

They’re called bunker up north, and Pogies here in the South, and are sometimes referred to as “The Most Important Fish In the Sea”. These are the Menhaden.

Since it’s not a fish you eat, you’ve probably never heard of it. But the annual Menhaden Advisory Committee meeting was a big deal this year due to a new Menhaden management plan.

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Environment
10:08 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Leeville Arts And Heritage Festival Draws Attention To Disappearing Town

Leeville Arts and Heritage Festival

Leeville, Louisiana is at the southern tip of Bayou Lafourche, along Louisiana state Highway 1. Recent decades have seen the town all but wash away, due to coastal erosion.

This Saturday, March 29, marks the first ever Leeville Arts and Heritage Festival. Janet Rhodus is the executive director of Launch Leeville, a nonprofit founded to promote the town. The Baton Rouge resident described her first trip to Leeville.

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