coastal restoration

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

Welcome to the Coastal Rundown, a new series exploring the people, places, gear, facts and suggested resources across the Gulf Coast.

 

Meet: Austin Badon

City Council Representative, District 100

State Rep. (D), Chairman of the House Education Committee

Motto: “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.”

Robert and Talbot Trudeau / Flickr

The LSU AgCenter fosters agricultural, engineering and scientific programs across the state. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we go across the state to hear how Ag agent Grace Peterson is connecting Shreveport residents with regional food.

We'll also cultivate tomatoes with Bobby Fletcher near the Mississippi River and float downstream with Dr. John Bell to learn how the Louisiana oyster can help rebuild coastal wetlands. We travel from the Gulf of Mexico to Shreveport's urban farms on this week's Louisiana Eats!

Ron Knight / Flickr

The 2010 BP Oil Spill ruined the Cat Island bird sanctuary, a pelican nesting site. Plaquemines Parish got initial funds to restore the island, but has failed to raise the rest needed. Now, the project leader is starting restoration anyway.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

This spring a state committee approved $477 million for coastal protection and restoration. When you throw in federal dollars, and private funding as well, fixing Louisiana's coast is becoming big business.

Here are some of the people who stand to benefit.

Deep in St. Bernard Parish’s Lake Athanasio, a construction crew is hard at work. Ben Leblanc is standing on a floating barge, overseeing his troops who are knee deep in marsh, battling enormous horse flies.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

A group of environmentalists are walking 100 miles from Grand Isle to Baton Rouge, along Louisiana Highway 1. They’re protesting Governor Jindal’s signing of Senate Bill 469, which blocked a New Orleans levee board lawsuit against oil and gas companies.

The members hail from around Louisiana. They want Gulf residents to be more aware of decisions made in Baton Rouge that impact their coastal communities.

A south Louisiana flood control board isn't ready to give up yet on its lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal wetlands damage — despite a new law aimed at squelching the suit.

A motion to kill the suit died on a 4-4 tie vote Thursday during a meeting of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes the lawsuit. His four newest appointees voted to kill the suit. Four others voted against killing it. One member of the nine-member board was absent.

Louisiana GOHSEP / Flickr

Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority had its monthly meeting on Wednesday. Officials discussed BP oil spill money, sediment diversions, sea level rise, and beach and dune restoration.

Laurie Cormier is the Coastal Zone manager in Southwestern Louisiana’s Calcasieu Parish. Cormier also sits on the CPRA. She says the focus in her region is the creation of breakwaters, which help protect against storm surge.

Eve Abrams

The Water Challenge seeks to spur innovation in creative water management solutions for the Greater New Orleans region by awarding $50,000 annually through a competitive process. Sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Water Challenge is part of The Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

 

 

“This is the southern extent of the Biloxi Marshes,” points Tyler Ortego. “We’re right next to the southern extension of MRGO, less than a mile away. If you see higher vegetation that’s it. The other side of this lake you get out into Breton Sound.”

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

A consortium of environmental and industry stakeholders are making concrete reefs on the Gulf Coast in an attempt to create new oyster habitats. The Lake Athanasio project covers a half a mile of St. Bernard Parish coastline, and seeks to satisfy coastal restoration and commercial interests by giving oysters a sustainable habitat to mature.

Tyler Ortego developed the engineering concept behind the artificial reefs.

  “There’s no one-time money for recurring expenditures in the budget,” Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols guaranteed from the start of this year’s budget process. Yet as the House Appropriations Committee worked to modify and approve Governor Jindal’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, the secret behind “no one-time money” was revealed.

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