The oil and gas industry won a significant victory in the Louisiana Legislature Friday with Senate passage of a bill that seeks to kill a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area levee board against 97 oil and gas companies.
The lawsuit alleges the companies' drilling activities damaged Louisiana's coast.
Senators voted 25-11 for the measure that is aimed at retroactively voiding the lawsuit. The vote sent the bill to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is likely to sign it.
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.
Commuting statistics indicate that coastal parishes are losing residents because of coastal erosion, according to a new report released Sunday by the New Orleans-based Data Center. And it says those left behind are on average older, poorer or otherwise vulnerable.
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.
An international design competition is offering $400,000 for ideas about how to improve Louisiana's waterways. The "Changing Course" design contest is reviewing proposals from around the world to rebuild the sinking basins south of New Orleans, while at the same time maintaining enough water for navigation and commerce.
Lens Reporter Bob Marshall says that the state can learn a lot from other areas that are facing the same challenges.
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.