mississippi river

Anjali Fernandes

This week on the roundup: a new study out of Tulane finds the Mississippi River can’t keep up with coastal land loss, an oil spill shuts down the river, and Hurricane names are retired.

 

WWNO’s Travis Lux and Nola.com/The Times Picayune’s Sara Sneath talk about the week in coastal news.

Elizabeth Chamberlain / Vanderbilt University

According to new research, the Mississippi River delta will be much smaller in the future — even as the state plans to spend billions trying to rebuild it.

 

The researchers, led by Elizabeth Chamberlain — who is now at Vanderbilt after getting a PhD from Tulane — looked at how the Mississippi River used to build land thousands of years ago, which can illustrate how it might build land in the future. They took samples of sediment up and down Bayou Lafourche — which was the main river channel at the time.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Mississippi River has been flowing fast and high — and that’s meant the fishing has been good. But the river carries more than fish, water and dirt. It’s also a giant drainage basin for 40 percent of the country — and and picks up pollutants along the way.

 

If you fish from the Mississippi, is it safe to eat your catch? Are there any health concerns?

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers will open the Bonnet Carré Spillway on Thursday to prevent river flooding near New Orleans.

 

The Mississippi River is rising, as floodwater from the Midwest makes its way south.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Countries across the world are starting to ban some microplastics. Like microbeads — the tiny pieces of plastic used in soap and face washes.

 

This time of year in New Orleans, it’s almost raining plastic, from beads to glitter. Lots of glitter. But what happens to all that sparkly stuff after it washes away? WWNO’s Travis Lux took a look at the environmental consequences of glitter.

Louisiana State University

LSU unveiled a big, new model of the lower Mississippi River Monday. It will be used to simulate floods and help the state figure out how to use the river to rebuild the coast.

Ryan Utz / Chatham University

A new study shows waterways across the country are getting saltier — including the Mississippi River. That has implications for the ecosystem and for drinking water.

 

The salt comes from two main places. Road salt — which is used to help melt ice and snow on roadways — and also agricultural fertilizers. Fertilizers often have potassium in them, which is a salt.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) wants feedback on its list of projects for the next year. Officials are holding a series of public meetings. The first meeting was last night in Belle Chasse.

 

The state’s big-picture plan to protect and restore the coast is updated every five years — it includes plans for things like river diversions and rebuilding marshes. That’s the Master Plan. But the money for those projects is approved on a yearly basis — the Annual Plan.

Travis Lux / WWNO

More than 20,000 scientists from around the world came to New Orleans this week for the American Geophysical Union conference. From minerals and volcanoes to oceans, space, and climate change -- they presented all kinds of research.

 

Sara Sneath from Nola.com/The Times-Picayune was there. So was WWNO’s Travis Lux. This week on the Coastal News Roundup, they met up at the conference to talk about the latest in coastal research.

U.S. Drought Monitor

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: Texas wants to buy Louisiana’s water, coastal cities face credit downgrades, and new research on how when ice sheets melt, sea levels rise unevenly across the globe.

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