environment

BP Oil Spill
10:05 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Trial Winds Down For Former BP Engineer

A federal trial is drawing to a close for a former BP drilling engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jurors are scheduled to hear closing arguments Monday in Kurt Mix's trial on two counts of obstruction of justice. Mix didn't testify at his trial, which started two weeks ago.

Mix pleaded not guilty to charges he deliberately deleted text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's probe of the spill.

The Lens
5:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Design Competition Solicits Ideas For Louisiana's Waterways

The Changing Course design competition is picking the world's best brains for ideas on solving Louisiana's coastal challenges. Eight teams have advanced to the semifinal round.
NASA

An international design competition is offering $400,000 for ideas about how to improve Louisiana's waterways.  The "Changing Course" design contest is reviewing proposals from around the world to rebuild the sinking basins south of New Orleans, while at the same time maintaining enough water for navigation and commerce.

Lens Reporter Bob Marshall says that the state can learn a lot from other areas that are facing the same challenges.

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Red River Radio
9:43 am
Mon December 9, 2013

El Dorado conservationist to be inducted into Hall of Fame

The heavy industrial users of groundwater switched to surface water from the Ouachita River in an effort to keep the Sparta Aquifer a viable source of drinking water for generations to come.

Arkansas’ Conservation Hall of Fame will honor an El Dorado man Tuesday evening for his long commitment to recharging the Sparta Aquifer, the sole source of drinking water for a number of municipalities in South Arkansas and North Louisiana. 

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Environment
12:28 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Louisiana Coast: Last Call — What's Next?

Jeff Adelson of The New Orleans Advocate, and Mark Schleifstein of Nola.com | The Times-Picayune.

Talk to anyone in South Louisiana and they know that the future is clouded by sea level rise and subsidence. They also know that if the Master Plan for the Coast is not implemented on time, as scheduled, Southeast Louisiana has very little chance of staying above that sea level rise.

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Environment
4:10 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Rate Of Coastal Wetlands Loss Has Sped Up, U.S. Study Says

Saltwater wetlands that include marshes and shoals on Virginia's Atlantic coast. U.S. coastal wetlands losses were 25 percent greater from 2004-2009, according to a recent federal study.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:47 pm

The U.S. lost an average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands from 2004 to 2009, according to the latest data published by federal agencies. More than 70 percent of the estimated loss came in the Gulf of Mexico; nationwide, most of the loss was blamed on development that incurred on freshwater wetlands.

"The losses of these vital wetlands were 25 percent greater than during the previous six years," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports for our Newscast unit. She also notes that the loss equals "about seven football fields every hour."

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Red River Radio
9:52 am
Thu November 21, 2013

International Paper donates Lake Erling in Arkansas to Shreveport-based conservation group

Managed timberland pine forests surround Lake Erling and its 120 miles of shoreline.

International Paper has donated its Lake Erling property in South Arkansas' Lafayette County to the Shreveport-based AGRED Foundation. It stands for American Gamebird Research Education and Development. Eric Fletcher, AGRED Foundation director, said this donation – 7,600 acres in all – will ensure that Lake Erling is maintained to the high standards set by International Paper for the past 57 years.

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Latest News
7:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

New Signs Help Visitors Understand Wetlands Restoration In Lower Ninth Ward

John Taylor is caretaker of the Bayou Bienvenue viewing platform, which offers a vantage point to see projects designed to restore wetlands that once filled the area, but that are now open water.
Eileen Fleming WWNO

Officials dedicate interactive signs at Bayou Bienvenue viewing platform.

A viewing platform on the edge of the Lower Ninth Ward can now offer visitors a chance to see the damage done to wetlands by saltwater intrusion. They can also watch through new interactive signs as restoration projects try to repair the damage at Bayou Bienvenue.

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Latest News
7:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Environmental Group Seeks Safety Improvements At Refineries

An oil refinery in Chalmette, La.
Pattie Steib Shutterstock

Louisiana Bucket Brigade report criticized by oil and gas group.

Environmental activists in the Louisiana Bucket Brigade say accidents at Louisiana’s refineries and chemical plants average about six a week. The group is calling for more safety measures.

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The Lens
7:29 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

For Strengthening Levees, Bermuda Grass Is Hard To Beat

Bermuda grass is considered ideal grass for armoring local levees because its dense root mass holds soils and it grows well in the local climate.
Bob Marshall The Lens

The idea that grass can armor anything is hard to believe.

But on a recent visit to the Lake Pontchartrain levee, LSU agronomist Jeff Beasley explained how plain old, garden variety grass has earned a reputation with the US Army Corps of Engineers as one of the best armoring materials to keep the huge mud walls of a levee from collapsing during a storm.

"You know how we reinforce concrete with rebar?" says Beasley. "We can do the same with these levees."

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12:24 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Losing Louisiana

Lead in text: 
This special multimedia feature — from The Weather Channel and New Orleans-based reporter Katy Reckdahl and photographer Kathleen Flynn — examines how and why the Louisiana coast is disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico, largely through the eyes of the people living there.
Because of a slow-moving disaster caused by sinking land, climate change and oil exploration, Louisiana's coastal families must choose between leaving their homes for higher ground or staying where generations of their families lived, on land so precarious the next hurricane could wash them away.

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