Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:47 pm
The U.S. lost an average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands from 2004 to 2009, according to the latest data published by federal agencies. More than 70 percent of the estimated loss came in the Gulf of Mexico; nationwide, most of the loss was blamed on development that incurred on freshwater wetlands.
"The losses of these vital wetlands were 25 percent greater than during the previous six years," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports for our Newscast unit. She also notes that the loss equals "about seven football fields every hour."
This special multimedia feature — from The Weather Channel and New Orleans-based reporter Katy Reckdahl and photographer Kathleen Flynn — examines how and why the Louisiana coast is disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico, largely through the eyes of the people living there.
Because of a slow-moving disaster caused by sinking land, climate change and oil exploration, Louisiana's coastal families must choose between leaving their homes for higher ground or staying where generations of their families lived, on land so precarious the next hurricane could wash them away.
Many states suffer from a shortage of water, but not Louisiana — we’ve got a surplus. Problem is, we don’t know what to do with it. And as our coastline diminishes each year, the urgency to make a decision is pivotal.
Experts have been brainstorming about Louisiana’s relationship with water, and they recently congregated at the second annual Anba Dlo symposium to share their thoughts with the public.
The second part of a trial resumed in the Federal District Court here in New Orleans this month to decide just how much BP will pay for polluting the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana during the Deepwater Horizon spill back in 2010.
Marketplace reporter Sam Harnett takes a look at Louisiana's voracious unoffical mascot: the nutria. Trappers who put a significant dent in nutria populations are retiring, and some are looking for new solutions to help stem the tide of the ecologically-destructive beasties.
In July a landmark lawsuit was filed against the oil and gas industries for their role in the destruction of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands — a lawsuit that many people have been waiting decades to see.
But this suit didn’t come from an environmental group or a private landholder. It came from the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, an agency charged with maintaining the huge hurricane protection system recently built around the metro New Orleans area.
Taxpayers may be on the line for hundreds of thousands of dollars if the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East has to withdraw its lawsuit against oil and gas companies.
SLFPA-E met opposition from the legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee Wednesday, as the committee gathered information from the authority on the suit, also hearing opposing testimony from Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority head Garret Graves.
When Louisiana officials unveiled the $50-billion Master Plan for the Coast, a 50-year program that could prevent most of southeast Louisiana from sinking under the Gulf by the end of the century as predicted, they knew one of their most important priorities would be getting reliable, long-term funding through Congress.
Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino outlines legal issues involved in the landmark levee district lawsuit.
A lawsuit filed this week against dozens of companies in the oil industry has already gotten stiff political opposition. A Loyola University law professor sees a major legal battle erupting ahead for the levee board suing for wetlands repairs.
Lawsuit against 97 oil industry companies seeking wetlands rehabilitation.
A New Orleans-area levee district is suing 97 oil industry companies for damaging wetlands that protect the city from hurricanes. The district is seeking repairs that could cost several billion dollars.