environment

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The first day of the United Nations international climate talks has wrapped up at the Conference Of the Parties, or COP21, in Paris. As world leaders try to reach an agreement to limit global warming and stave off climate change, Louisiana has a lot at stake.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Climate change and environmental pollution disproportionately impact people of color. In New Orleans, Dr. Beverly Wright is working to change that. She started the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, which is now housed at Dillard University, and has worked for many years to highlight the environmental and health inequities in the Lower Mississippi River Industrial Corridor, commonly referred to as "Cancer Alley."

A marsh restoration project at work.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

There is a federal law that says when wetlands are destroyed by development or industry, they must be replaced somewhere nearby. It is a provision of the Clean Water Act in place since 1980, but it’s getting new attention because of increased industrial development in Louisiana.

Ryan Hagerty, National Digital Library of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

When John Bel Edwards starts his new job as governor in January he will face lots of big decisions on how to spend BP settlement money and bring in more capital to restore the eroding coast.

http://www.cop21paris.org

Join WWNO and partners for a panel on the United Nations talks on climate change. COP 21: A Turning Point for Global Climate Change will be held on Friday, November 20 at 10 a.m.

The panel will discuss the importance of reaching a global climate agreement at the COP 21 conference in Paris, France, this December. Experts will discuss the potential impact on Louisiana and how the state fits into the global conversation on climate change.

The port plans to add rubber-tire gantry cranes like these to add to their container marshalling yard in an effort to increase container handling and turn times.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Business is good for the Port of New Orleans. Cargo shipping is up about 20 percent this year from last. Because the Port is an independent public entity, not run by the city or state, it can take that extra money and invest it right back into operations. There are currently more than $40 million worth of improvements underway as a result.

Louisiana Sea Grant College Program at Louisiana State University

The state is bringing back its program to test fish for mercury, a heavy metal that is dangerous for human consumption. The program will be back up and running in January.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality scaled back the program in 2008, when it ran out of funding.

Mercury comes from burning coal and other industrial activities. It gets into the air and then settles in streams and other waters, where fish absorb it.

cpex.org

The 10th Annual Louisiana Smart Growth Summit explores best practices for statewide planning. The Center for Planning and Excellence, CPEX, runs the event Tuesday and Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

CPEX CEO Elizabeth Boo Thomas says what Louisiana really needs is transportation and housing.

The Tulane Environmental Studies Program joins with WWNO and the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic for the fourth event in its series on “The Katrina Disaster Now”: a conversation about rising seas, sinking land, climate change, Louisiana, justice, and community – featuring leaders from diverse communities across the Louisiana coast in an event moderated by NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott.

The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a new way to measure the value of wetlands and restore those destroyed by industry.

The proposed Louisiana Wetlands Rapid Assessment Method, or LRAM, is a compensatory wetland mitigation method that will help them evaluate different types of wetlands, like bottomland hardwoods or cypress swamp, and determine how to offset destruction caused by development.

If a company wants to build in the wetlands it has to replace what is destroyed.

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