environment

National Park Service / Wikimedia

Scores of endangered turtles hurt by the unusual cold in Massachusetts have been brought to the Gulf Coast to be rehabilitated and eventually released into the wild.

Hundreds of cold-stunned young Kemp's ridley sea turtles have washed up on Massachusetts beaches since November. The condition, like human hypothermia, can be fatal.

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans says it received 27 of the turtles on Monday. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies director Moby Solangi says 32 are in Gulfport.

A coalition of national environmental groups says the billions of dollars expected from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill penalties should go toward rapidly rebuilding Louisiana’s coastline.

During a teleconference Tuesday, the conservation groups outlined 19 priority projects detailed in their two new reports. David Muth, Gulf Program director for the National Wildlife Federation, says these projects are critical.

A new levee board created to build flood protection projects in St. Tammany Parish is meeting for the first time today.

The nine commissioners of the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District will meet in Mandeville.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports the board is made up of gubernatorial appointees from communities throughout the parish.

The board was set up by the Legislature this year. It will work as other levee boards do in Louisiana — looking after the parish's flood control needs. As a political subdivision of the state, it has taxing authority.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

There’s a new push to get tourists in New Orleans off Bourbon Street and into nature. Eco-tourism is the new way to explore Louisiana, according to a new statewide campaign. And as commercial fishermen are seeing numbers drop in catch and profit, they’re considering the tourism industry as a way to make a living.  

A LaPlace man has pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with damage claims from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office says 33-year-old Charlie English pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors said English worked as a claims adjuster for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. In September 2010, he began providing fraudulent documentation for people who made phony claims for loss of fishing income. The claims resulted in more than $257,000 in illegal payouts.

Stephen Luna / Wikimedia Commons

The University of New Orleans hosted the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation on Wednesday. They met to discuss the RESTORE Act and receive an update about an LSU study on how land loss will impact the economy of Louisiana’s coast.

King Milling is chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Commission. He posed the question that everyone is thinking about, but no one wants to ask:

Aziz Saltik / Flickr

New restrictions are being placed on fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast to protect the prized Bluefin tuna species from overfishing.

On Monday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the rules, which affect commercial fishing vessels and take effect in January.

Under the new rules, fishermen will be barred from the practice of using miles-long fishing lines in areas of the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of North Carolina during certain sensitive periods for Bluefin tuna.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

In January the New Orleans City Council will resume hearings on a new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. It’s been 40 years since the city was this close to revamping regulations on how things get built.

As part of the CZO, a group of city officials, engineers and landscape architects are pushing for a greener design for New Orleans. One that will help the city better manage its localized flooding.

Eve Troeh / WWNO

Riding southwest from Saigon, the visible landscape of the Mekong delta appears immediately similar to the Mississippi delta. Green plants are everywhere, cut through with muddy water. Of course the tropical climate of Vietnam means there are coconut palms and other exotic plant life.

A major challenge of the working delta is controlling the mix of freshwater and saltwater, both on a wide scale and on an individual farm scale. The canals serve as dividing lines, as do a series of sluice gates.

A second audit into BP damage claims over its Gulf oil spill says the process is correct 99.5 percent of the time.

Nola.com reports the third-party audit was released by claims administrator Patrick Juneau.

It was requested by BP after the first report found last year that the program was running properly.

And a separate court-ordered check found only isolated claims of fraud.

No comment yet from BP.

The oil company has been battling to remove Juneau as claims administrator. It says settlements are tainted by fraud and mistakes.

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