Coastal Desk

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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Environment
9:23 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Vanishing Points In Terrebonne Parish

Provost Cemetery in Dulac, Louisiana.
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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Coastal Desk
11:31 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Coastal Rundown: Dr. John Lopez, Mr. Charlie And New Orleans To Venice

Dr. John Lopez with a crab trap.
Credit Frank Relle

MEET: Dr. John Lopez (the other Dr. John)

Dr. Lopez is a coastal scientist and the Director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s Coastal Sustainability Program. Before this he worked in the oil and gas industry, as well as a stint with the Army Corps of Engineers, where he handled project assignments under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act.

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Environment
11:20 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Wax Lake Outlet: Just About The Greenest Accidental Delta You Ever Saw

Waterlillies bloom in the Wax Lake Delta.
Credit Eve Troeh / WWNO

Those who have been lucky enough to travel to the Wax Lake Delta are prone to gush about it. Just ask Ben Weber, who leads trips to the area as an outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation.

From above one can see how the lush, green Delta has spread out into the Gulf over time, a bit of an outlier in a region now more used to seeing coastal land retreat due to sea level rise and erosion.

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Environment
5:35 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Army Corps of Engineers Moves Forward On Upgraded Storm Protection System For New Orleans

17th Street Canal storm protection system being built by Army Corps of Engineers along Lake Pontchartrain.
Credit Jesse Hardman / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers is getting closer to completing new storm protection at the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue canals.

The $615 million system is scheduled to be done in less than three years. Its permanent structures will reduce risk of 100-year level storm surges in New Orleans.

Lieutenant Colonel Austin Appleton is the Army Corps Deputy Commander for the New Orleans District. “What this is doing is pushing the defense of the storm surge to the edge of the city," he says. "Prior, the defense was the interior walls of the canal.”

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Coastal Desk
4:21 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Follow Along With The Coastal Desk's 'Vanishing Coast' Tour Of Chauvin

The Vanishing Points Map
Credit Vanishing Points / Wetlands Discovery Center

WWNO’s Coastal Desk is heading to Chauvin, Louisiana to visit some sites that are in danger of being washed out by coastal erosion and sea level rise. After visiting the working coast camp in Houma last month, Laine Kaplan-Levenson learned of the Wetlands Discovery Center’s Vanishing Points project. This online mapping tool identifies and tells the stories of various locations that are at risk of disappearing.

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Environment
5:10 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Plaquemines Parish Joins With Army Corps To Turn Dredged Sediment Into Marshland

Louisiana Coastal Area Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Program
Credit Plaquemines Parish

Plaquemines Parish officials are partnering with the Army Corps of Engineers on a new coastal dredging initiative.

The plan is to use sediment dredged from the Mississippi River shipping channel to create 300 to 600 acres of marsh habitat. This will help create a natural buffer against storm surge.

Colonel Rick Hansen is commander of the New Orleans District office of the Army Corps of Engineers.

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