The Army Corps of Engineers says it will construct an underwater sill in the Mississippi River to stop salt water from threatening drinking water supplies in the New Orleans area.
The move is needed because water levels in the drought-stricken Mississippi have gotten so low that the river is nearly at sea level and this is allowing salt water from the Gulf of Mexico to move far inland.
At the latest check on Monday, salt water was on the outskirts of New Orleans.
State officials say preliminary slurry water samples pulled from the acre of swampland that liquefied into muck over the weekend indicate the presence of small amounts of diesel hydrocarbons.
The pond of muck, located in Assumption Parish, first appeared Friday night and grew quickly, bending a 36-inch natural gas pipeline buried 16 feet in the ground as the muck expanded. About 150 homes and several businesses were ordered to evacuate after Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency for the parish when the slurry area appeared to be expanding.
NAPOLEONVILLE — Ascension Parish officials have reopened a four-mile section of highway near an acre of swampland that liquefied into soupy muck, toppling tall bald cypress trees and bending a 400-foot-long section of a natural gas pipeline toward the liquid acre.
Officials in Assumption Parish say gas bubbles in Bayou Corne are producing a diesel-like odor.
An area of slurry was found Friday in a swampy area between Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne, about a half mile from Louisiana Highway 70. The area is at least 2,500 feet from the nearest home, officials say.
State police are monitoring the area, seeking possible additional bubbling sites.
Officials say they don't expect any highways to be closed or evacuations ordered as a result of the increased monitoring.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission says the fall inshore shrimp season will open at 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13.
The opening covers the state's inside waters from the Atchafalaya River and Atchafalaya River Ship Channel west to the Louisiana/Texas state line. The state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River east to the Mississippi/Louisiana state line will open 12 hours later, at 6 p.m.
The Jackson-Bienville Wildlife Management Area is getting smaller.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says its latest lease with the Weyerhaeuser Company will keep about 25,000 acres open to public recreation such as hunting, fishing, hiking, birding and nature photography.
It says about 7,000 acres will be closed to the public. That's nearly 22 percent of the original size.
The property is in Jackson, Bienville and Lincoln parishes. The department has managed it since 1951.
State officials say a stinky smell reported from Bayou Manchac last week stems from stagnant swamp water in Spanish Lake that heavy rains pushed into the bayou.
Rodney Mallett, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesman, tells The Advocate in an email that inspectors reached that conclusion by tracking the flow of the water, visual observations and some field parameters.
Mallett said the stagnated water washed through Alligator Bayou to Bayou Manchac.
DEQ officials say the same phenomenon has occurred a few times a year for the past three to four years.
Researchers at Tulane University are calling for long-term studies on how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill two years ago is affecting migratory birds. Traces of BP’s oil spilled in the Gulf is being spread far inland by the birds.
The Army Corps of Engineers plans a public meeting Tuesday on measures it is taking to mitigate the impact of wildlife habitat as construction continues on a levee and flood protection system in Plaquemines, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes.
The presentation and discussion are set for 6:30 p.m. at the Ernest Tassin Senior Center on Fourth Street in Westwego.