coastal restoration

Nature takes a crack at rebuilding marsh

Jul 9, 2012

A small breach on the marsh-covered east bank of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans is giving rise to calls to let the river run wild.

The debate centers on a 77-foot-wide channel the river carved through a levee road in the unused Bohemia spillway in Plaquemines Parish, about 45 miles south of New Orleans. The breach is outside levees that protect thinly populated communities on the sliver of delta that extends south to form Louisiana's boot.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter is highlighting his role as Louisiana's lone member on the congressional committee that drew up a final version of the federal highway bill. But he's omitting the detail that the bill blows an $859 million hole in Louisiana's Medicaid funding.

As President Barack Obama was set to sign the measure into law Friday, Louisiana's Democrats were questioning Vitter's role in slashing the Medicaid dollars and asking if he fought against the cuts.

Legislation assigning 80 percent of BP’s Clean Water Act fines to Gulf Coast states most affected by its oil spill has been approved by Congress. The landmark legislation included in the Transportation Bill is expected to mean billions of dollars for Louisiana.

BATON ROUGE — A scientific study has found that heavily oiled areas in Barataria Bay showed twice the normal land erosion rates in the year and a half after the massive BP oil leak in 2010. The study found oil killed marsh plants and that led to the higher rates of erosion. 

Tab Benoit, Dr. John, others fight to save coast

Apr 28, 2012

Some of Louisiana's best known musicians have joined forces in an ongoing effort to help save Louisiana's coast and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival fans will reap the benefits of the homegrown collaboration.

On Saturday, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars featuring Tab Benoit, Dr. John, Cyril Neville, Anders Osbourne, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Vidacovich, Johnny Sansone and Waylon Thibodeaux hit the Acura Stage — the festival's largest — just before another headliner: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The oil has long stopped flowing and BP spent billions of dollars to clean up oiled beaches and waterways, but the disaster isn't necessarily over.

Oil fouled some 1,100 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline, but today, in most spots, you can't see obvious signs of the spill. In Orange Beach, Ala., the clear emerald waters of the Gulf roll onto sugar-white sand beaches.

A leading Louisiana export is joining the effort to fight coastal erosion, and asking consumers around the world to help save the wetlands.