coastal restoration

Eve Abrams

Wetland Resources plants hurricane resistant trees to protect Louisiana’s coastline.

Demetra Kandalepas is a senior scientist at Wetland Resources. We’re on the way to visit their bald cypress and tupelo nursery. It’s in the middle of a marsh. We drive down a muddy path next to a huge, raised pipe.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

Who's still thinking about Christmas in spring? The New Orleans Department of Sanitation, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Guard. This generation-long partnership comes together for the annual Christmas tree drop. Christmas trees are picked up curbside after the new year, packaged into bundles, and dropped via helicopter into a local wetlands area to build back land mass. The National Guard uses it as a training exercise, and the nearby wildlife refuge Bayou Sauvage gets a coastal restoration project.

As the five-year anniversary approaches later this month of the BP oil spill, the Environmental  Defense Fund is gearing up for monitoring how restoration money is used to repair damage.

The Restore Act sets aside 80 percent of the still-undetermined billions of dollars in fines BP will be ordered to pay in Clean Water Act fines.

Some projects are already drawing critics. The Gulf Restoration Network is suing to block the money from being used for an Alabama convention center.

Natalie Peyronnin is director of science policy for the Environmental Defense Fund.

Listening Coast / WWNO

WWNO’s Listening Post community media project has mostly covered issues related to New Orleans. But WWNO’s signal reaches far beyond the city, and we want to explore what people along the Louisiana coast are thinking.

Naturally, our expansion is called the Listening Coast, and it has its own number: Text "hello" to 985-200-2433 (or call and leave a voicemail!) to get in touch.

Louisiana’s congressional delegation — most notably former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu — has fought for coastal restoration funding for years. And it’s just about to pay off big.

“In November of 2017, approximately $170-million is to be made available to the state — $140-million of which comes to the CPRA,” explains Kyle Graham, with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The source of the funds is a federal program known as GOMESA.


President Obama is proposing that an offshore revenue sharing plan, set to provide Louisiana millions of dollars in revenue for coastal restoration, be replaced with a plan that would spread that money across the nation for various issues.

  

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

A New Orleans organization is trying to help fund coastal restoration by quantifying Louisiana wetlands, using hard numbers as a way to offset global carbon emissions.

Companies that send lots of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — such as power plants and oil refineries — need to offset some of that pollution. So they invest in green carbon projects by spending money on things like protecting forests. One Louisiana company wants to expand that tactic to the Gulf Coast.

Eve Troeh

Louisiana faces the highest relative rates of sea level rise in the world. As policy and funding debates rage over how to best restore and protect our coastal communities, local leaders also look for allies elsewhere.

What to do with all the billions in Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP and its contractors for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Officially, it’s up to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, made up of governors from the five affected states and heads of several federal agencies, to decide.

A coalition of environmental groups has come up with their own ideas for how the first millions can best be spent to restore the coast.


Coastal experts met on Louisiana’s Avery Island yesterday to discuss the potential of private investment money to help restore and sustain the Gulf Coast. 

The meeting included representatives of federal and state agencies, universities, investment banking institutions, and non-profits.

The focus was a new report from America's WETLAND Foundation.

That organization is advocating the creation of an ecological marketplace for private investors looking to finance environmental projects.

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