Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

A New Orleans organization is trying to help fund coastal restoration by quantifying Louisiana wetlands, using hard numbers as a way to offset global carbon emissions.

Companies that send lots of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — such as power plants and oil refineries — need to offset some of that pollution. So they invest in green carbon projects by spending money on things like protecting forests. One Louisiana company wants to expand that tactic to the Gulf Coast.

Now it’s BP’s turn in court.

The oil company will be calling witnesses as it makes a case for civil penalties lower than the $13.7 billion the federal government wants from the 2010 oil spill.

The second week of a three-week trial is set to begin today in New Orleans.

Last week, government experts testified about environmental, economic and social damage caused by the spill.

BP attorneys disputed much of that testimony, and have argued the recovery of the environment and the Gulf economy has been strong.

Opponents of a plan to burn 15 million pounds of M6 artillery propellant in storage at Camp Minden say several much safer alternatives should be considered.

State Rep. Gene Reynolds of Minden was among speakers in a teleconference Thursday assembled by the activist group Louisiana Progress Action.

Reynolds is meeting with munitions experts at the Pentagon on Friday. He wants to call a joint meeting of the state’s Homeland Security oversight committee to allow federal and state agencies and the military to testify under oath about the status of the explosives.

A government witness at the trial to determine civil penalties against BP for the 2010 oil spill says the disaster hurt a wide array of industries over a broad geographic area.

Charles Mason also testified yesterday that the harm was only modestly countered by BP's spending and investment in the region.

U.S. Justice Department attorneys are pushing for the maximum $13.7 million Clean Water Act penalty for BP.

BP says the figure should be less.

Skylar Primm / Flickr

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a female whooping crane released about a year ago has been shot in Vermilion Parish and had to be put to death.

Spokesman Adam Einck said Wednesday there's a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of whoever shot the endangered bird.

He says the bird was found Nov. 2 with an apparent bullet wound in her upper left leg and was euthanized the next day at the Louisiana State University veterinary school.

Activists calling for an immediate safe disposal of M6 explosives at Camp Minden in Webster Parish lodged an official complaint with the state Wednesday.

A group delivered more than 3,600 signatures to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s Northwest Regional office in Shreveport. They also delivered copies to the local offices of Louisiana’s congressional delegation.

Eve Troeh

Louisiana faces the highest relative rates of sea level rise in the world. As policy and funding debates rage over how to best restore and protect our coastal communities, local leaders also look for allies elsewhere.

Lawyers for BP and the government are set to begin the third and final phase today of the trial over its 2010 oil spill. A Tulane University expert on maritime law says there are billions of dollars at stake.

Federal judge Carl Barbier has been overseeing the complex litigation over the 2010 disaster.

Tulane law professor Martin Davies is director of the Tulane Maritime Law Center. He says that process has proven much faster than scheduling jury trials. Barbier has already made key rulings in the case.

John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.

Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.

Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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