Oceanfront property is desirable, unless the ocean is meant to be hundreds of miles from your front door. Webster Pierce Jr. is the inventor of a hunk of plastic called the Wave Robber. Anchored off the coast of rapidly disappearing Louisiana, it upends the natural process of waves washing away land by robbing them of their power, but unlike a traditional breakwater, siphons the silt out of the wave to create new land.
Talk to anyone in South Louisiana and they know that the future is clouded by sea level rise and subsidence. They also know that if the Master Plan for the Coast is not implemented on time, as scheduled, Southeast Louisiana has very little chance of staying above that sea level rise.
New Orleans' levee board is suing energy companies for damaging the Mississippi River delta by cutting canals through the marshland. The canals let in sea water, which kills marshes, eroding the city's protective buffer against storms. A map of the delta.
Credit Frank Relle
The canals have become tools for the local seafood and charter-fishing business, too. Dr. John Lopez of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation holds a crab trap pulled from a canal. A dormant natural-gas well is in the background.
Anyone following the development of the Master Plan for the Louisiana coast knows that the central part of the plan is also its most controversial: large scale river diversions, opening the levees on the sides of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans to let the silt-carrying Mississippi out into these sinking deltas to begin rebuilding them.
But not everyone’s happy with that, because restoring the deltas to their former state means changing things from the way they’ve been for almost 70 years.
Hansel Harlan minces up nutria and feeds' em to the dogs as super healthy Marsh Dog biscuits, treats, and jerky. Arthur Matherne zips around the swamp on an airboat, occasionally with superstars and sometimes shooting alligators.
The New Orleans-based flood control board that sued dozens of oil and gas companies over the erosion of coastal wetlands is trying to get that lawsuit put back in state court.
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East's board of commissioners filed the suit in state civil district court in New Orleans on July 24. Last month, it was transferred to federal court at the request of Chevron U.S.A., one of the defendants. The company argued that federal laws govern many of the suit's claims.
Louisiana delegation wants changes in FEMA flood maps they say could cause premiums to skyrocket.
Louisiana public officials are launching a bipartisan battle to revamp proposed changes to the National Flood Insurance Program. The administrator evaluating the objections was taken on a helicopter tour of coastal regions possibly facing steep premium hikes.
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.
An email sent recently to hundreds of Northshore inboxes contained a startling attachment. It was a picture of south Louisiana 80 years from now. The land loss projection map showed what could happen if the coastal erosion problem goes unchecked — the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain will be the new Grand Isle.
Dr. Chip Groat, President and CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf, explains that his organization is dedicated to making sure that doesn’t happen.