environment

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

With oil prices down, Louisiana has lost about 12,000 jobs in oil and gas since last year. Some of those oil and gas workers are finding new jobs in coastal restoration. That includes helping rebuild a chain of barrier islands to protect the coast. One of those state-funded projects is in Plaquemines Parish.

Coastal cities across the globe are looking for ways to protect themselves from sea level rise and extreme weather. In the U.S., there is no set funding stream to help — leaving each city to figure out solutions for itself.

New Orleans and Philadelphia are two cities that face very similar challenges of flooding from rising tides. But they've chosen to pay for the solutions in very different ways.

New Orleans: Post-Disaster Payments And Grants Pave Future

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The city of New Orleans just won an award for its efforts to adapt to climate change. The American Planning Association says the city’s resilience strategy sets a model for others dealing with the same challenges of rising seas and extreme weather. Coastal cities across the nation are trying to develop models like it, but there’s no dedicated federal money to do so.

A slate of bills before the Louisiana state legislature, if passed, will redirect funding from coastal restoration efforts. WWNO's Tegan Wendland spoke with Bob Marshall, environmental reporter for The Lens, about the proposed legislation.

 

 


Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Families who fish for a living in Louisiana struggle to remain competitive in a changing market. They’ve seen prices fluctuate wildly over the past decade and have been hit repeatedly by hurricanes, and then the BP oil spill. It’s hard to make a living. Now they’re looking for new ways to make money by selling direct.

Twice a year the federal government auctions off land in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration. It’s usually a pretty quiet affair. But on Wednesday hundreds of protesters marched into the Superdome to try to disrupt the sale.

Albert Poche stands on a "floating mat" of vegetation in the Four-Mile Marsh outside of Ponchatoula. The City of Hammond is discharging 3-4 million gallons per day of partially-treated sewage into the marsh.
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

 

St. Bernard Parish is considering a new marsh creation project: adding partially-treated sewage to Bayou Bienvenue, east of New Orleans. The idea is to build up vegetation—and spur marsh creation—by tapping the natural fertilizer that humans around the world create daily.

 


The roots of a dead oak tree are all that holds the edge of this ancient Native American mound together.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The loss of Louisiana’s coast due to saltwater intrusion, sea level rise and industry is a big problem for the environment and the economy. But it could also change our understanding of the state’s history. In some places, the water is taking with it ancient Native American sites, posing challenges for archaeologists.

Pink, oily sludge passed beneath a bridge over. the 17th Street Canal on Tuesday.
John Lopez / Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Local, state and national agencies are responding to an oil-related incident in Jefferson Parish over the weekend.

Pink sludge was found in the 17th Street Canal and it’s not yet public knowledge how it got there.

The Coast Guard is overseeing the cleanup, which is ongoing. It says 900 gallons of waste lubricant came from Delta Petroleum. The company’s website says it blends and packs lubricants and oils.

A company spokesman says it notified state police, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the East Jefferson Levee District on Sunday.

State offices and most schools in the New Orleans region closed early Tuesday as forecasters warned of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms.

So far, the most heavily hit areas have primarily been north and east of New Orleans, with tornado touchdowns on the Northshore and around Baton Rouge. Meteorologist Andrew Ansorge with the National Weather Service in Slidell says it’s a little rare to have this strong of a storm this early in the year.

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