archive-org.com » ORG » M » MISSISSIPPIRIVERDELTA.ORG

Total: 311

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Senator Mary Landrieu | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    from start to finish and we want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and begin looking forward to how the RESTORE Act will unfold to become the single largest environmental restoration investment ever made by Congress Sen Mary Landrieu introduces Rep Steve Scalise who led the RESTORE Act effort in the House during a Capitol Hill event marking its passage Photo courtesy of Sen Landrieu The idea of spending penalty money from the oil spill on environmental and economic restoration in the gulf region is only fair Diverse groups including conservation organizations the Secretary of the Navy chambers of commerce from across the gulf region and even a special commission created by the President in response to the spill all agreed it was the right thing to do Heeding this call Congress came together to design a bill to return the money where it belongs to the Gulf Coast In the Senate the RESTORE Act received 76 votes a remarkable display of bipartisanship which highlights the broad support had by the bill Of course it could not have happened without our campaign s supporters who used social media letters to the editor and appeals to their congressional representatives to make the bill a top priority Looking forward we are excited that the RESTORE Act has the potential to make the environment and economies of the Gulf Coast healthy again The RESTORE Act includes a list of various eligible activities that states may use funds for ranging from coastal restoration and shoreline protection to seafood and tourism promotion All of these activities will provide new job opportunities for residents along the Gulf Coast and across the nation As a recent Duke University report shows the RESTORE Act is a win for the entire country The RESTORE Act also sets up a Restoration Council comprised of various federal agencies and states affected by the spill to create an environmental restoration plan for the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast The plan has the potential to address major and very expensive challenges in the Mississippi River Delta A top funding priority in the plan for Louisiana will be designing and constructing large scale sediment diversions along the lower Mississippi River Sediment diversions provide wetlands with essential supplies of fresh water and new silt which help rebuild land and protect the coast Over the next few months the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign will update readers on important RESTORE Act developments We hope to provide you with useful information as the Restoration Council forms and begins the important process of creating a restoration plan for America s Gulf Coast Stay tuned 1 Comment Senator Landrieu visits Louisiana coastal communities celebrates passage of RESTORE Act July 10 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in 2012 Coastal Master Plan BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Media Resources Meetings Events RESTORE Act Senator Mary Landrieu By Amanda Moore and Happy Johnson National Wildlife Federation Senator Mary Landrieu and National Wildlife Federation s Amanda Moore in Lafitte La Yesterday July 9 U S Senator Mary Landrieu D La kicked off a five stop Louisiana coastal tour to celebrate the historic passage and signing into law of the RESTORE Act Stops included Jean Lafitte Thibodaux Lafayette Lake Charles and Bell City Staff from the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign were on hand in Lafitte as the senior senator from Louisiana thanked the crowd for the time and energy spent achieving this momentous victory for our coast This tremendous victory would never have been possible without the broad support of environmental wildlife and business groups in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast said Senator Landrieu in a press statement The RESTORE Act first introduced in July 2011 by Senators Landrieu and Richard Shelby R Ala will dedicate 80 percent of penalties paid under the Clean Water Act to the gulf states for ecological and economic restoration BP could face fines between 5 4 billion and 21 1 billion In Louisiana this funding will be critical for implementation of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan a 50 year 50 billion restoration and protection plan for the state Thanks to Senator Landrieu for her leadership and thanks to all of the legislators who voted to bring justice to the gulf Photos from the Laffite event can be seen on the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Facebook page No Comments Groups Commend Louisiana Congressional Supporters on Passage of RESTORE Act June 29 2012 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in 2012 Coastal Master Plan BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress Media Resources RESTORE Act Senator David Vitter Senator Mary Landrieu FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts Chris Macaluso Louisiana Wildlife Federation 225 802 4048 chris lawildlifefed org Elizabeth Skree Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 eskree edf org Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 guidrye nwf org Karen Gautreaux The Nature Conservancy 225 788 4525 kgautreaux tnc org Kevin Chandler National Audubon Society 202 596 0960 kchandler audubon org Scott Madere Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 767 4181 scottm crcl org GROUPS COMMEND LOUISIANA CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORTERS ON PASSAGE OF RESTORE ACT Legislation restoring Gulf Coast ecosystems and economy included in Transportation Bill Baton Rouge La June 29 2012 Today local and national conservation groups praised the passage of the Surface Transportation Extension Act that includes the RESTORE Act a measure that will dedicate 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from BP and other parties responsible for the 2010 gulf oil disaster to restoring the Gulf Coast environment and economy In praising the RESTORE Act the groups also encouraged the federal government and the State of Louisiana to ensure the fines are spent on the coastal projects laid out in the state s 2012 Coastal Master Plan We applaud the leaders from both houses whose tireless efforts have seen the RESTORE Act to this point especially Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter and Representatives Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond said the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Environmental Defense Fund Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Louisiana Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy in a joint statement The BP oil disaster devastated an already degraded coastal region one that is suffering from a decades long coastal land loss crisis Fortunately through Louisiana s Coastal Master Plan we have the solutions in hand to repair ecosystems increase resiliency and ensure the long term sustainability of coastal communities We encourage state and federal officials to do the right thing and ensure RESTORE Act funds go towards jumpstarting the critical restoration projects needed to ensure our coast s survival Since the 1930s Louisiana has lost more than 1 900 square miles of wetlands an area roughly equivalent in size to the state of Delaware A recent study by researchers at the University of Florida shows that the BP oil disaster accelerated land loss by killing the marsh grasses that hold the marsh together doubling the rate of erosion in some areas Over the decades the decline of the Mississippi River Delta s wetlands has dramatically impaired protection from hurricanes and wiped out much of the buffer against future storms and disasters The loss of wetlands also threatens One of our nation s most important fisheries One of our nation s most significant port complexes and navigation systems Wildlife including tens of millions of migratory birds and waterfowl Domestic energy production and processing Communities all along the central Gulf Coast Earlier this year the Louisiana State Legislature unanimously approved the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan a 50 year blueprint for restoring Louisiana s rapidly disappearing coastal wetlands and protecting the state s natural resources and communities Funding from the RESTORE Act could be used to implement Coastal Master Plan projects which is expected to cost 50 billion over the next fifty years A study by Mather Economics also demonstrates the potential job benefits of using RESTORE Act fines for restoration The study estimates that a 25 billion investment could create as many as 57 000 jobs through restoration Without the RESTORE Act fines from the spill would automatically be deposited into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to cover future spills elsewhere and into the Federal Treasury for unspecified general spending With today s vote and the President s signature this measure will ensure that Louisiana and the other Gulf Coast states struck by this historic disaster receive the funding necessary to make a full recovery The RESTORE Act will not just help restore Louisiana s ecosystems the restoration projects it funds will also create new jobs and boost the state s economy This is a win win for coastal communities along the delta the statement continued We look forward to working with the State and Administration to make sure these funds are used to revive the critical ecosystems and local economies that our nation depends on No Comments Conservation Groups Laud Funding for Restoration Efforts from Senate April 26 2012 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Congress Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Media Resources RESTORE Act Senator Mary Landrieu Federal funds will support critical restoration construction projects jobs in Louisiana FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts Elizabeth Skree Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 eskree edf org Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 guidrye nwf org Kevin Chandler National Audubon Society 202 596 0960 kchandler audubon org Washington D C April 26 2011 Today five national and local conservation groups praised the Senate Appropriations Committee for approving funding for critical restoration projects in Louisiana including an effort to use sediment dredged from navigation waterways to recreate critical wetlands The U S Army Corps of Engineers would receive 16 8 million for the Louisiana Coastal Area LCA program to begin construction on LCA ecosystem restoration projects and 9 3 million to study future projects This funding was part of President Obama s budget request and was strongly supported by Sen Mary Landrieu D La This funding is an important step forward in helping restore critical wetlands around the Mississippi River Delta as well as helping create new jobs in Louisiana This is a win win for the environment and the economy said the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Environmental Defense Fund Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation National Audubon Society and National Wildlife Federation in a joint statement Thanks to the Appropriations Committee and Sen Landrieu these restoration projects will put sediment from the Mississippi River back to use creating wetlands that act as a speed bump for hurricanes and a natural storm buffer for communities We hope Congress will include this funding in the final version of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill the groups continued Taking these preventative actions now will make these areas less vulnerable to future disasters Since the 1930s Louisiana has lost more than 1 900 square miles of wetlands an area roughly equivalent to the state of Delaware The decline of the Mississippi River Delta s wetlands has dramatically impaired protection from hurricanes and wiped out much of the buffer against future storms and disasters The loss of wetlands also threatens One of our nation s most important fisheries One of our nation s most significant port complexes and navigation systems Wildlife including tens of millions of migratory birds and waterfowl Domestic energy production and processing Communities all along the central Gulf Coast The federal funding was provided in the Senate Appropriations Committee Report on the FY13 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill More restoration projects like the ones funded through this budget request would be possible with passage of the RESTORE Act The legislation would dedicate 80 percent of oil spill penalties paid by BP and others responsible for the 2010 oil spill towards gulf restoration The RESTORE Act has received strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate No Comments Groups hail Senate passage of transportation bill with gulf restoration amendment March 14 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress RESTORE Act Senator Mary Landrieu Vote follows recent House approval of efforts to dedicate oil spill fines to gulf restoration Washington D C March 14 2012 A coalition of six Gulf Coast restoration advocacy groups praised the Senate today for passing the Surface Transportation bill with an amendment that would dedicate 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines from BP and the other parties responsible for the Gulf oil spill to restoring the Gulf Coast The current transportation bill expires on March 31 The amendment called the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act is historic legislation that the full Senate passed last week with support from 76 senators including every Senate Democrat and half of the Senate s Republicans The Senate s approval of the RESTORE Act whose lead sponsors include Senators Mary Landrieu D La Bill Nelson D Fla and Richard Shelby R Ala follows the House s recent approval of a similar RESTORE Act amendment sponsored by Congressman Steve Scalise R La that was attached to the House transportation bill Faith leaders conservationists and sportsmen and strong majorities of voters from both ends of the political spectrum in Gulf states and across the nation agree that it just makes sense for the fines from the Gulf spill to come back to help repair the economic and environmental damage done to the Gulf said a joint statement issued by Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation The Nature Conservancy Ocean Conservancy and Oxfam America We thank the Senate leaders who have made this victory possible for the Gulf Now we look forward to Congress passing and the President signing into law the final transportation bill with the RESTORE Act The RESTORE Act will ensure that penalties paid by BP and others responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster are used to rebuild the economies of Gulf Coast communities that were impacted by the spill and to restore the natural resources ecosystems fisheries marine and wildlife habitats beaches barrier islands dunes and coastal wetlands that are the foundation of the Gulf Coast economy A nationwide poll of 1 006 likely general election voters conducted by the Democratic firm Lake Research Partners and the GOP firm Bellwether Research and Consulting showed that the vast majority of U S voters 84 percent believe the Gulf Coast including the Mississippi River Delta impacts the nation s economy Nearly two thirds of those voters 63 percent believe this region impacts the economy in their part of the country Contacts Sean Crowley Environmental Defense Fund 202 572 3331 scrowley edf org David J Ringer National Audubon Society 601 642 7058 dringer audubon org Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 guidrye nwf org Heather Layman The Nature Conservancy 703 475 1733 hlayman tnc org David Willett Ocean Conservancy 202 351 0465 dwillett oceanconservancy org Andrew Blejwas Oxfam America 617 785 7047 Ablejwas oxfamamerica org 1 Comment Senate will vote on RESTORE Act amendment today March 8 2012 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress RESTORE Act Senator Mary Landrieu By Elizabeth Skree Environmental Defense Fund It s an important day for recovery in the Gulf Coast Nearly two years after the BP oil disaster the communities economies and environment of the gulf are still struggling to recover Today Congress has the opportunity to take a crucial step towards making the gulf whole again by voting yes on the Nelson Shelby Landrieu RESTORE Act amendment to S 1813 the Surface Transportation bill The RESTORE Act amendment has been paired with an additional 1 4 billion in funds towards the Land and Water Conservation Fund LWCF The LWCF funds large scale conservation projects in America s most treasured places The RESTORE Act amendment is legislation that would ensure 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties from the gulf oil spill are dedicated to gulf restoration The bill has bipartisan support in both chambers of congress and from members nationwide It would ensure that fine money be used to restore and revitalize the environment and economies of the Gulf Coast Passage of this legislation is not only important to the people of the gulf but to the entire nation that depends on a healthy gulf region In fact to date over 73 thousand people have taken action and told Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell that restoring the Gulf Coast is important In February over 140 faith leaders sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to pass the RESTORE Act and help repair the gulf Restoration projects that would be funded under this bill can help protect communities restore ecosystems revive the tourism and fishing industries and create tens of thousands of jobs as residents rebuild and diversify their economy says the letter This legislation represents a significant bipartisan and achievable step toward justice for Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems Last week the U S Chamber of Commerce which represents the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations sent a letter to Senator Mary Landrieu supporting the bill The RESTORE Act as currently written is a common sense and bipartisan approach to a situation that has impacted the entire Gulf region states the letter The Chamber supports S 1400 and applauds your leadership on this important issue On Monday the National Association of Counties NACo which was founded in 1935 and represents the interests of the nation s 3 068 counties accepted a resolution supporting the bill NACo supports the concept established by the RESTORE Act that diverts penalty money from the responsible party to local economic and environmental restoration plans and supports the expansion of this policy to future pollution incidents In addition to these groups associations including the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association ASBPA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers AFPM sent letters to Congress supporting the RESTORE Act And sportsmen organizations representing hundreds of thousands of hunters and anglers also reached out to the Senate urging swift passage of the bill Call your senator

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/congress/senator-mary-landrieu/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive


  • Economics | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Coastal restoration is not only the biggest job creator in the region it also has some of the highest paying jobs averaging 69 277 per year Coastal restoration projects will not only rebuild our vanishing coast they will create and sustain jobs protect communities and provide a sustainable future for the people and industries that call Louisiana home said Steve Cochran Campaign Director for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition By safeguarding coastal dollars for coastal efforts the state is keeping its commitment to restoring and protecting Louisiana s coast Coastal restoration and protection will create long lasting good paying jobs and be an economic driver for Louisiana said Michael Hecht President of Greater New Orleans Inc As evidenced in GNO Inc s State of the Sector Water Management report there are currently 30 350 people employed in the water management sector in the Greater New Orleans region Additionally this sector is predicted to grow by 23 percent over the next ten years And with the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in oil spill money for coastal restoration over the next 16 years money that is dedicated solely to this growing industry we will continue to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for the people and industries of coastal Louisiana The citizens and businesses of Louisiana are relying on you as our new governor to prioritize coastal restoration protect coastal restoration funding and continue to implement restoration plans concluded the letter Thank you for your continuing attention to this top priority for Louisiana business interests and citizens Read the letter in full along with all signers here http www mississippiriverdelta org blog 2016 03 14 mrd coalition sends governor edwards letter touting economic potential of coastal restoration The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments MRD Coalition Sends Governor Edwards Letter Touting Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation State Legislature Today the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations chambers of commerce economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state s Coastal Master Plan The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection View the full letter below No Comments Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil Gas as Jobs Leader in SE Louisiana 2nd Across Coastal Zone February 24 2016 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation Media Resources Reports FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 jlopez saveourlake org Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil and Gas as Jobs Leader in Southeast Louisiana Second Across Entire Coastal Zone Rapidly growing industry brings high paying jobs helps grow Louisiana economy NEW ORLEANS February 25 2016 The water management sector represents the largest economic driver in southeast Louisiana and the second largest in southwest Louisiana according to new analysis released today by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Economic drivers such as water management oil and gas maritime petrochemical video production and hospitality and tourism are industries that drive regional growth and are indicators of economic development With nearly 44 000 jobs water management is the second largest industry driver across the entire Louisiana Coastal Zone second only to oil and gas In southeast Louisiana the water management industry has eclipsed the oil and gas maritime and hospitality industries as the leading jobs creator The water management industry is growing faster than any other major sector within Louisiana s Coastal Zone and has the highest average wage among driver industries 69 277 per year And while other industries have been losing jobs water management which includes coastal restoration coastal protection and urban water management has added more than 5 700 jobs in southeast Louisiana since 2010 and provides significant opportunities for Louisiana workers Also today Greater New Orleans Inc released its State of the Sector report on the water management industry This analysis focuses on specifics of current and future water management workforce job opportunities over the next ten years in the Greater New Orleans region The report includes detailed information on current workforce demographics projected top middle and high skill occupations and sample career ladders The report also provides insights into the factors driving growth and determining the current and future water management workforce needs in southeast Louisiana See more at http gnoinc org stateofthesector As our state works to address its budget challenges it is important to remember that investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy in addition to protecting existing businesses and communities said David Muth National Wildlife Federation s Gulf Restoration Director representing the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Investments made today in water management will more than pay off in the long run as our region becomes an economic hub for coastal restoration and climate resiliency while also helping to protect the people industries and wildlife that call coastal Louisiana home With the influx of funds from the Gulf oil disaster and other federal sources the water management sector is poised to continue to grow fueling the economy of coastal Louisiana and the entire state In addition to creating well paying jobs in state this sector has the potential to be a major export industry for our region like that of technology for Silicon Valley Coastal restoration and resiliency expertise gained in Louisiana can be exported to other coastal regions around the world facing similar threats from land subsidence and sea level rise This data confirms that water management is the fastest growing sector in Louisiana If we make the right decisions and protect coastal funding in the years ahead we have a golden opportunity to set our region on a course of greater economic prosperity and improved environmental health for generations to come said Muth The analysis was produced by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition which includes Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana The full analysis can be found on our website here Learn why coastal restoration is urgently needed to protect and grow businesses in Louisiana and across the Gulf Visit OurCoastOurEconomy org The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments New study Cost of not pursuing significant coastal restoration could reach 133 billion December 21 2015 Posted by jhebert in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Community Resiliency Economics Federal Policy Hurricanes Reports Restore the Coast Science By Elizabeth Van Cleve Communications Manager Environmental Defense Fund Louisiana has lost nearly 1 900 squares miles of land since the 1930s Without future action to restore the coast and reverse this trend the state stands to lose another 1 750 square miles of land by 2060 This land loss crisis not only impacts the communities wildlife and ecology of south Louisiana but it also puts cities homes infrastructure and industries at risk Coastal wetlands serve as a buffer against the effects of waves storms and sea level rise The continued loss of wetlands jeopardizes Louisiana s diverse economy as well as the entire nation that depends on the Mississippi River Delta for shipping oil and gas fisheries tourism and other industries A recent study conducted by the Louisiana State University LSU and the RAND Corporation aims to measure the future economic impacts of continued coastal land loss Commissioned by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA Economic Evaluation of Coastal Land Loss in Louisiana provides a quantitative understanding of the economic damages caused by wetlands loss if we don t take action now to restore the coast The two year study measures the projected economic costs associated with continued land loss under future with no action scenario including projected damages to capital stock such as buildings homes and roads disruption of economic activity including employment and trade flows and changes in ecosystem services and related industries such as fisheries tourism and recreation Key findings from the report include 2 1 3 5 billion Total replacement cost associated with capital stock at risk from land loss 5 8 7 4 billion Total annual output economic activity at risk from land loss 10 133 billion Increase in storm damage to capital stock 5 51 billion Total output lost to increased storm damage Every dollar we spend today on coastal restoration and protection will save us many many more dollars in the future said CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline in a press release But beyond being cost feasible we re talking about saving lives families homes business and our way of life This study by LSU and RAND is important in making our case to Congress and the nation that it is better for many reasons to spend now rather than later Read the full report on CPRA s website here The Times Picayune video Coastal erosion hurricane could cost Louisiana 133 billion Learn more about how coastal restoration is important to the economy at OurCoastOurEconomy org No Comments Vote Now Which Coastal Restoration Slogan Should Appear on Dirty Coast Products July 30 2015 Posted by jhebert in Community Resiliency Economics Economy Hurricanes Job Creation K10 Restoration Projects Wildlife tourism Earlier this month we put out a call for coastal restoration slogans that could be made into a design to be featured on Dirty Coast t shirts and other products We received an overwhelming response of more than 200 highly creative submissions making our job of selecting which to feature extremely difficult So much so that we chose five finalists instead of the originally planned three They are The World Needs More Louisiana Greaux the Delta Greaux Our Home Save the Boot Let the River Run Through It Keep LAND in Our Wetlands So we need YOU to help us decide Vote here for your favorite slogan today through Thursday August 6 The slogan receiving the most votes will be made into a design that Dirty Coast will place on t shirts and other products sold in stores and online over the next year A portion of sale proceeds will go to the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition to help us educate and engage people about the need for coastal restoration The person who submits the winning slogan will receive a 200 gift card to Dirty Coast second place will receive a 100 gift card and third place a 50 card All three finalists will receive a coastal tour led by experts in coastal restoration We ll announce the winning slogan and unveil the design at a launch party and happy hour on August 20 at 6 p m at Dirty Coast s new Marigny location 2121 Chartres Street New Orleans LA We hope to see you there 22 Comments Lower 9th Ward CSED Creates Environmental Learning Research Center July 15 2015 Posted by lbourg in Community Resiliency Economics Hurricane Katrina Hurricanes K10 Mississippi River Gulf Outlet By Rachel Pickens Esq Resiliency Manager for Coastal Outreach Community Awareness Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development River to the Bayou is a phrase often spoken by members the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development CSED When CSED was created in December 2006 by Pam Dashiell and Charles Allen they envisioned rebuilding a more resilient neighborhood one that stretches from the Mississippi River to Bayou Bienvenue Learning from Katrina they realized that resilience is more than strengthening the built environment it also requires restoring and protecting the surrounding natural environment There is a need for more education and awareness of the importance of our coastal wetlands in communities like the Lower 9th Ward which have and continue to be disproportionately affected by strong storms Residents must look out to the coast protect what s in the neighborhood and in the Lower 9th Ward that means reconnecting people with the river and the bayou Wetland Education Center site plan To address this need CSED is creating a Wetland Education Center for residents to learn and interact with the water that surrounds the neighborhood The site will run along Florida Ave between Caffin Ave and Lamanche St across the street is the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle and platform It is composed of four lots which CSED purchased from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority in 2013 The first phase of the project an outdoor classroom was constructed through a partnership with Tulane s School of Architecture during the 2015 spring semester The outdoor classroom includes a bioswale where the sloped ground collects water that would otherwise cause flooding in the adjoining street The goal is to retain 100 of all rainwater that falls on the site Plants in the bioswale include spider lilies thalias irises and soft rush all plants that live well in wet and boggy soils Outdoor classroom bioswale The bioswale is divided into three zones demarcated by oyster benches and oyster trails The oysters serve as check dams which slow down the rainwater and prevent it from eroding the bioswale The three zones are a visual timeline of the neighboring Bayou Bienvenue The zone by the entrance with the diversity of native plants represents the past before Bayou Bienvenue was destroyed by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet MRGO The middle zone represents the current state of the bayou sparse with only a few switch grasses The third zone representing the future remains unfinished and will be a site for additional plantings The site also includes two shaded structures The first an outdoor classroom and a second to be used for kayak storage Both structures are composed of steel columns and shade cloth that provides 90 UV protection In front of the structures are rows of silver shower Aztec and purple foundation grass which will help prevent erosion The outdoor class room also includes an orchard now growing grapefruit orange satsuma kumquat fig and apple trees along with a magnolia tree Program coordinator Kathy Muse started a butterfly garden in the back part of the site several years ago Shaded outdoor classroom and kayak storage Phase 2 of Wetland Education Center will include the placement of a modular classroom Designed by Eskew Dumez Ripple in partnership with the US Green Building Council USGBC the classroom features sustainable building materials and design elements It was showcased at the 2014 USGBC Green Build held in New Orleans The classroom which was donated to CSED will be used as a K 12 environmental education center and research space While the Wetland Education Center is still a work in progress it is currently open to the community and it will be a gathering and learning site for wetland awareness and water management CSED believes that the first step towards resiliency is education and with the help of the Wetland Education Center the Lower 9th Ward will become more resilient than ever CSED and other environmental groups will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the first phase of the project on August 11th at 10am following a press event at the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Platform to discuss the state of our coast 10 years after Hurricane Katrina For more information on this event contact Samantha Carter at carterS nwf org For more information on CSED and how you can get involved click here 1 Comment We re Partnering with Dirty Coast to Feature YOUR Coastal Restoration Message July 13 2015 Posted by lbourg in Community Resiliency Economics Economy Hurricane Katrina Hurricanes K10 Meetings Events People Restoration Projects As we approach the 10 th anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita a time when we all learned about the importance of the Louisiana coast as a first line of defense against storms Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition and Dirty Coast are partnering to feature YOUR coastal restoration messages on t shirts bags posters and other snazzy products that will be sold in Dirty Coast s New Orleans stores and across the web to help raise awareness and support for Louisiana coastal restoration Louisiana continues to lose a football field of land every hour and our state has lost 1 900 square miles of land since the 1930s These wetlands are crucial to protecting our homes and communities from the effects of hurricanes and storm surge Without action we stand

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/economics/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Job Creation | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    14 2016 Today the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations chambers of commerce economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state s Coastal Master Plan The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection Our ongoing land loss crisis creates significant business risks to the many industries that depend on a healthy Gulf ecosystem said the letter A recent study prepared for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority evaluated the economic impact of coastal land loss in the state Their report showed that another 25 years of continued land loss would cost residents and business owners 2 1 billion to replace commercial and residential properties roads rails and pipelines lost due to erosion Disruption to business activities during that same time period would cause an additional loss of 5 8 billion Implementing our Coastal Master Plan can help reduce such losses Investing in coastal restoration will not only reduce the economic impact to businesses and communities but will actually grow the economy through development of a new water management sector and expertise continued the letter The expected infusion of billions of dollars in coming years from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlements GOMESA and other sources will fuel the creation of jobs and expansion of companies working in this sector A recent analysis by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition based on The Data Center s methodology shows that water management which includes coastal restoration coastal protection and urban water management is the fastest growing industry in southeast Louisiana with more than 32 000 jobs Coastal restoration is not only the biggest job creator in the region it also has some of the highest paying jobs averaging 69 277 per year Coastal restoration projects will not only rebuild our vanishing coast they will create and sustain jobs protect communities and provide a sustainable future for the people and industries that call Louisiana home said Steve Cochran Campaign Director for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition By safeguarding coastal dollars for coastal efforts the state is keeping its commitment to restoring and protecting Louisiana s coast Coastal restoration and protection will create long lasting good paying jobs and be an economic driver for Louisiana said Michael Hecht President of Greater New Orleans Inc As evidenced in GNO Inc s State of the Sector Water Management report there are currently 30 350 people employed in the water management sector in the Greater New Orleans region Additionally this sector is predicted to grow by 23 percent over the next ten years And with the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in oil spill money for coastal restoration over the next 16 years money that is dedicated solely to this growing industry we will continue to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for the people and industries of coastal Louisiana The citizens and businesses of Louisiana are relying on you as our new governor to prioritize coastal restoration protect coastal restoration funding and continue to implement restoration plans concluded the letter Thank you for your continuing attention to this top priority for Louisiana business interests and citizens Read the letter in full along with all signers here http www mississippiriverdelta org blog 2016 03 14 mrd coalition sends governor edwards letter touting economic potential of coastal restoration The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments MRD Coalition Sends Governor Edwards Letter Touting Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation State Legislature Today the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations chambers of commerce economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state s Coastal Master Plan The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection View the full letter below No Comments Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil Gas as Jobs Leader in SE Louisiana 2nd Across Coastal Zone February 24 2016 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation Media Resources Reports FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 jlopez saveourlake org Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil and Gas as Jobs Leader in Southeast Louisiana Second Across Entire Coastal Zone Rapidly growing industry brings high paying jobs helps grow Louisiana economy NEW ORLEANS February 25 2016 The water management sector represents the largest economic driver in southeast Louisiana and the second largest in southwest Louisiana according to new analysis released today by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Economic drivers such as water management oil and gas maritime petrochemical video production and hospitality and tourism are industries that drive regional growth and are indicators of economic development With nearly 44 000 jobs water management is the second largest industry driver across the entire Louisiana Coastal Zone second only to oil and gas In southeast Louisiana the water management industry has eclipsed the oil and gas maritime and hospitality industries as the leading jobs creator The water management industry is growing faster than any other major sector within Louisiana s Coastal Zone and has the highest average wage among driver industries 69 277 per year And while other industries have been losing jobs water management which includes coastal restoration coastal protection and urban water management has added more than 5 700 jobs in southeast Louisiana since 2010 and provides significant opportunities for Louisiana workers Also today Greater New Orleans Inc released its State of the Sector report on the water management industry This analysis focuses on specifics of current and future water management workforce job opportunities over the next ten years in the Greater New Orleans region The report includes detailed information on current workforce demographics projected top middle and high skill occupations and sample career ladders The report also provides insights into the factors driving growth and determining the current and future water management workforce needs in southeast Louisiana See more at http gnoinc org stateofthesector As our state works to address its budget challenges it is important to remember that investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy in addition to protecting existing businesses and communities said David Muth National Wildlife Federation s Gulf Restoration Director representing the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Investments made today in water management will more than pay off in the long run as our region becomes an economic hub for coastal restoration and climate resiliency while also helping to protect the people industries and wildlife that call coastal Louisiana home With the influx of funds from the Gulf oil disaster and other federal sources the water management sector is poised to continue to grow fueling the economy of coastal Louisiana and the entire state In addition to creating well paying jobs in state this sector has the potential to be a major export industry for our region like that of technology for Silicon Valley Coastal restoration and resiliency expertise gained in Louisiana can be exported to other coastal regions around the world facing similar threats from land subsidence and sea level rise This data confirms that water management is the fastest growing sector in Louisiana If we make the right decisions and protect coastal funding in the years ahead we have a golden opportunity to set our region on a course of greater economic prosperity and improved environmental health for generations to come said Muth The analysis was produced by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition which includes Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana The full analysis can be found on our website here Learn why coastal restoration is urgently needed to protect and grow businesses in Louisiana and across the Gulf Visit OurCoastOurEconomy org The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments Vote Now Which Coastal Restoration Slogan Should Appear on Dirty Coast Products July 30 2015 Posted by jhebert in Community Resiliency Economics Economy Hurricanes Job Creation K10 Restoration Projects Wildlife tourism Earlier this month we put out a call for coastal restoration slogans that could be made into a design to be featured on Dirty Coast t shirts and other products We received an overwhelming response of more than 200 highly creative submissions making our job of selecting which to feature extremely difficult So much so that we chose five finalists instead of the originally planned three They are The World Needs More Louisiana Greaux the Delta Greaux Our Home Save the Boot Let the River Run Through It Keep LAND in Our Wetlands So we need YOU to help us decide Vote here for your favorite slogan today through Thursday August 6 The slogan receiving the most votes will be made into a design that Dirty Coast will place on t shirts and other products sold in stores and online over the next year A portion of sale proceeds will go to the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition to help us educate and engage people about the need for coastal restoration The person who submits the winning slogan will receive a 200 gift card to Dirty Coast second place will receive a 100 gift card and third place a 50 card All three finalists will receive a coastal tour led by experts in coastal restoration We ll announce the winning slogan and unveil the design at a launch party and happy hour on August 20 at 6 p m at Dirty Coast s new Marigny location 2121 Chartres Street New Orleans LA We hope to see you there 22 Comments IPCC report examines climate change s effects on Mississippi River Delta and strategies for adaptation August 5 2014 Posted by Delta Dispatches in Community Resiliency Economics Hurricanes Job Creation Reports By Keenan Orfalea Communications Intern Environmental Defense Fund There are risks and costs to action But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction President John F Kennedy The Mississippi River Delta one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in North America is teeming with life and this rich bounty has supported the development of unique cultures and traditions alongside industry At the same time Louisiana s fragile coastal wetland ecosystems are facing collapse Today the region also faces serious threats from global climate change combined with other manmade impacts Climate impacts could devastate Gulf fisheries submerge critical infrastructure like Port Fourchon and imperil cities such as New Orleans These outcomes are not inevitable though if meaningful action is taken Coastal wetlands are the first line of defense against climate change impacts such as storm surge Unfortunately the Mississippi River Delta has been losing wetlands at an alarming rate as a result of unsustainable river and coastal management practices Since 1932 Louisiana has lost nearly 1 900 square miles of land and every hour an area of land the size of a football field turns into open water While this gradual process may go unnoticed from day to day the consequences became clear through the devastation of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Intact coastal wetlands could have protected against the force of these storms because they have the potential to buffer storm surge For communities that lie behind natural wetland barriers restoring such ecosystems will increase communities resiliency and ability to thrive in the face of climate change A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC focused on the observed and predicted effects of climate change as well as adaptation strategies The report found strong evidence of variation in key environmental indicators over the past two decades and predicts that this variation is likely to continue into the future generating increasingly severe effects over time The report also explores what can be done to confront these new challenges and protect against the most extreme impacts For vulnerable low lying areas like southern Louisiana any effective adaptation plan will have to utilize multiple strategies simultaneously Coastal wetland restoration will be one of the most important and cost effective tools for adapting to climate change There are costs associated with any restoration program but strategic investment could produce economic gains for the entire Mississippi River Delta region According to an analysis by The Center for American Progress and Oxfam America long term investment in ecosystem services returned 15 in value for every 1 spent The same study found that an average of 17 jobs were created per 1 million in spending on ecosystem services compared to only 9 jobs created from the same investment in the offshore oil and gas industry Adaptive coastal planning delivers further benefits by mitigating potential losses from storm damage and sea level rise Taken together the gains in human safety and economic stimulus stemming from adaptive planning far exceed the costs of any coastal restoration program Embarking on this course of action will not only ensure the long term sustainability of the Mississippi River Delta and its communities but it could also lay the foundations for future economic development Climate change is a global problem but the earliest and most severe developments will be felt in areas that are most exposed like the low lying and disappearing Mississippi River Delta While mitigating the future impacts of climate change will require an international effort adaptation must take place on the regional and local levels Louisiana s most pressing threats stem from its vanishing coastline In order to meet the challenges of the future policymakers and citizens must take immediate action in order to reverse this land loss crisis because comfortable inaction is not an option No Comments GNO Inc announces launch of Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy July 15 2014 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Economy Job Creation By Elizabeth Skree Communications Manager Environmental Defense Fund Last Friday Greater New Orleans Inc GNO Inc announced the launch of the Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy CCRE CCRE is a coalition of Louisiana businesses and business leaders who are advocating for sustainable restoration of Louisiana s disappearing coastal wetlands deltas rivers and coastline This new business coalition will support an integrated three legged framework of coastal restoration appropriate structural flood mitigation and non structural flood mitigation The group includes representatives from a wide variety of business and industry sectors including banking energy real estate entertainment communications navigation and manufacturing Photo credit Michael Maples U S Army Corps of Engineers Via U S Army Corp of Engineers Digital Visual Library Since the 1930s Louisiana has lost nearly 1 900 square miles of wetlands and the state continues losing land at the rate of one football field every hour This loss is attributed to a host of causes including oil and gas exploration leveeing of the Mississippi River hurricanes coastal erosion and subsidence Louisiana s land loss crisis is not just an environmental problem it is an economic crisis Industries businesses and communities in Louisiana depend on the delta for protection from storms and for a sustainable future Thankfully there are solutions to address and resolve this land loss crisis And just as many causes contribute to Louisiana s land loss problem it will take a combination of scientific solutions to resolve it Restoring the Mississippi River Delta will not only restore thousands of acres of protective wetlands and habitat but it will also protect Louisiana businesses cities and infrastructure It will also create new and sustain existing jobs in the region Find out more about how coastal restoration protects industries and creates economic growth at ourcoastoureconomy org CCRE s mission is to Promote the business case for coastal restoration in Louisiana Maximize RESTORE Act funding and other federal funds that are allocated to Louisiana Ensure that RESTORE Act funding and other federal funds are spent on their intended purposes Leverage RESTORE Act funding and other federal funding to direct other revenue streams Create opportunities to engage local businesses and workforce in implementation Water is the existential issue for Southeast Louisiana said Michael Hecht President CEO

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/economics/job-creation/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Wildlife tourism | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    recreation sector will continued to be threatened unless policy makers take bold steps to protect our eroding and degraded coastlines It is important that we take care of our most valuable natural assets said Mark Romig President of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation at a press conference in New Orleans for the release of the report We need coastal restoration to protect our economic base It s right for the environment right for business right for people and right for jobs Knowing the economic impact of wildlife tourism on the Gulf Coast region makes coastal restoration even more essential and timely Many people and businesses rely on the resources provided by the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast and the economic viability of the area can be secured by ensuring the resiliency of this diverse yet fragile region for decades to come Investing in coastal restoration as through the RESTORE Act and other monies stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will help the Gulf Coast ecosystem as well as the tourism industry which depends on a healthy Gulf 1 Comment Gulf Tourism Depends on a Healthy Gulf July 9 2013 Posted by Rachel Schott in Economy Hunting and Fishing Latest News Media Resources Reports Seafood Wildlife Wildlife tourism PRESS RELEASE Contacts Molly Moore Sanderson Strategies Group 202 682 3700 molly sandersonstrategies com Elizabeth Skree Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 eskree edf org Gulf Tourism Depends on a Healthy Gulf New report shows wildlife tourism is central to Gulf Coast economy New Orleans July 9 2013 The coastal environment of the Gulf of Mexico supports a 19 billion annual wildlife tourism industry that is highly dependent on critical investments in coastal environmental restoration according to a survey released today by Datu Research LLC Wildlife Tourism and the Gulf Coast Economy concludes that wildlife tourism is extremely valuable to the Gulf Coast economy and relies heavily on the health of the endangered Gulf Coast ecosystem in the five states of Louisiana Florida Texas Alabama and Mississippi Wildlife tourism includes recreational fishing hunting and wildlife watching Key findings of the report show that wildlife tourism Generates more than 19 billion in annual spending Attracts 20 million participants annually across the five Gulf Coast states Delivers 5 3 billion annually in federal state and tax revenues The study also found tourism jobs can account for 20 36 percent of all private jobs in coastal counties and parishes that are particularly dependent on wildlife activities Those 53 counties and parishes have more than 25 000 tourism related businesses and nearly 500 000 associated jobs The study reported that all forms of tourism generate 2 6 million jobs in the Gulf states nearly five times the number of jobs provided by the region s other three largest resource based industries commercial fishing oil and gas and shipping With so many outdoor adventure opportunities tourism is a critical industry to our coastal parishes Louisiana Lt Gov Jay Dardenne said Sportsman s Paradise is more

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/economics/wildlife-tourism/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Economy | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    water management is the fastest growing industry in southeast Louisiana with more than 32 000 jobs Coastal restoration is not only the biggest job creator in the region it also has some of the highest paying jobs averaging 69 277 per year Coastal restoration projects will not only rebuild our vanishing coast they will create and sustain jobs protect communities and provide a sustainable future for the people and industries that call Louisiana home said Steve Cochran Campaign Director for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition By safeguarding coastal dollars for coastal efforts the state is keeping its commitment to restoring and protecting Louisiana s coast Coastal restoration and protection will create long lasting good paying jobs and be an economic driver for Louisiana said Michael Hecht President of Greater New Orleans Inc As evidenced in GNO Inc s State of the Sector Water Management report there are currently 30 350 people employed in the water management sector in the Greater New Orleans region Additionally this sector is predicted to grow by 23 percent over the next ten years And with the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in oil spill money for coastal restoration over the next 16 years money that is dedicated solely to this growing industry we will continue to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for the people and industries of coastal Louisiana The citizens and businesses of Louisiana are relying on you as our new governor to prioritize coastal restoration protect coastal restoration funding and continue to implement restoration plans concluded the letter Thank you for your continuing attention to this top priority for Louisiana business interests and citizens Read the letter in full along with all signers here http www mississippiriverdelta org blog 2016 03 14 mrd coalition sends governor edwards letter touting economic potential of coastal restoration The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments MRD Coalition Sends Governor Edwards Letter Touting Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation State Legislature Today the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations chambers of commerce economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state s Coastal Master Plan The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection View the full letter below No Comments Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil Gas as Jobs Leader in SE Louisiana 2nd Across Coastal Zone February 24 2016 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation Media Resources Reports FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 jlopez saveourlake org Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil and Gas as Jobs Leader in Southeast Louisiana Second Across Entire Coastal Zone Rapidly growing industry brings high paying jobs helps grow Louisiana economy NEW ORLEANS February 25 2016 The water management sector represents the largest economic driver in southeast Louisiana and the second largest in southwest Louisiana according to new analysis released today by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Economic drivers such as water management oil and gas maritime petrochemical video production and hospitality and tourism are industries that drive regional growth and are indicators of economic development With nearly 44 000 jobs water management is the second largest industry driver across the entire Louisiana Coastal Zone second only to oil and gas In southeast Louisiana the water management industry has eclipsed the oil and gas maritime and hospitality industries as the leading jobs creator The water management industry is growing faster than any other major sector within Louisiana s Coastal Zone and has the highest average wage among driver industries 69 277 per year And while other industries have been losing jobs water management which includes coastal restoration coastal protection and urban water management has added more than 5 700 jobs in southeast Louisiana since 2010 and provides significant opportunities for Louisiana workers Also today Greater New Orleans Inc released its State of the Sector report on the water management industry This analysis focuses on specifics of current and future water management workforce job opportunities over the next ten years in the Greater New Orleans region The report includes detailed information on current workforce demographics projected top middle and high skill occupations and sample career ladders The report also provides insights into the factors driving growth and determining the current and future water management workforce needs in southeast Louisiana See more at http gnoinc org stateofthesector As our state works to address its budget challenges it is important to remember that investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy in addition to protecting existing businesses and communities said David Muth National Wildlife Federation s Gulf Restoration Director representing the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Investments made today in water management will more than pay off in the long run as our region becomes an economic hub for coastal restoration and climate resiliency while also helping to protect the people industries and wildlife that call coastal Louisiana home With the influx of funds from the Gulf oil disaster and other federal sources the water management sector is poised to continue to grow fueling the economy of coastal Louisiana and the entire state In addition to creating well paying jobs in state this sector has the potential to be a major export industry for our region like that of technology for Silicon Valley Coastal restoration and resiliency expertise gained in Louisiana can be exported to other coastal regions around the world facing similar threats from land subsidence and sea level rise This data confirms that water management is the fastest growing sector in Louisiana If we make the right decisions and protect coastal funding in the years ahead we have a golden opportunity to set our region on a course of greater economic prosperity and improved environmental health for generations to come said Muth The analysis was produced by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition which includes Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana The full analysis can be found on our website here Learn why coastal restoration is urgently needed to protect and grow businesses in Louisiana and across the Gulf Visit OurCoastOurEconomy org The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments Remembering Rita 10 Years Later September 24 2015 Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration Community Resiliency Economy Hurricane Rita Hurricanes People Profiles in Resilience Restoration Projects Today September 24 marks 10 years since Hurricane Rita the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico slammed ashore sending a storm surge up to 18 feet in some locations killing 120 people damaging areas stretching from Plaquemines to Cameron Parishes and into Texas and causing over 10 billion in damages Rita demonstrated that the best offense against future storms is strong Multiple Lines of Defense that begins with restoring and preserving the wetlands that buffer wind and waves working in conjunction will structural risk reduction measures and non structural measures such as levees and home elevation This week Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition welcomes guest authors to our Delta Dispatches blog to share their perspectives of Rita and where things stand ten years later Hurricane Rita A palpable shift in the evolution of sustainable housing in Coastal Louisiana by Peg Case Director of TRAC Terrebonne Readiness Assistance Coalition Houma LA Terrebonne Parish is over 85 wetland and open water Barataria Terrebonne Basins continue to suffer the highest land loss rates in the state There are five bayous stretching to the Gulf of Mexico like fingers of a hand These bayou communities most vulnerable to the effects of storm surge flooding are where TRAC a community based long term disaster recovery organization has focused its recovery efforts for the past 23 years The double sets of hurricanes that affected our parish in 2002 2005 and 2008 delivered wind and water repeatedly to these bayou communities Over 13 000 homes were impacted homes flooded with five to seven feet of water and swamp mud wind ravaged roofs and exterior not once but six times in a period of six years The shift from awareness to sustainable action has been years in the making However last decades disasters brought unprecedented funding streams from both private and government avenues Since 2005 1 037 elevation permits have been issued in Terrebonne Parish The average elevation height is 10 12 feet costing 80 00 per square foot Sustainable replacement housing was developed and constructed such as TRAC s LA Lift House www trac4la com However these projects were random need based program eligibility based and funded by the destruction of six hurricanes Looking to the future we the collective community involved in coastal restoration need to address simultaneously sustainable housing activities with funding planning and partnerships if we are to preserve the culture and communities that live along our coastlines Case is contributing author to Disasters by Design A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States She also served as a panel member for the U S Senate s 103 rd Congress Appropriations Sub Committee hearing on hurricane preparedness and evacuation She currently serves on LAVOAD Board of Directors To contact pegcase trac4la com You can show your support for coastal restoration by taking the pledge to urge leaders to be a powerful voice for coastal restoration Take the pledge at RestoretheCoast org No Comments Conservation Groups Commemorate Katrina Anniversary by Urging President to Prioritize Restoration August 26 2015 Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration Community Resiliency Economy Federal Policy Hurricane Katrina K10 Media Resources Restoration Projects FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 767 4181 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 jlopez saveourlake org Conservation Groups Commemorate Katrina Anniversary by Urging President Obama to Prioritize Restoration Coastal Restoration Is Key to City s Long Term Resiliency and Administration Has Opportunities to Advance Efforts NEW ORLEANS LA Aug 26 2015 As President Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush prepare to visit New Orleans to commemorate the 10 th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week national and local conservation groups working together on Mississippi River Delta restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana issued the following joint statement In the coming days President Obama two former U S Presidents and other leaders will honor the thousands of lives lost and bring well deserved attention to the progress Louisiana and the Gulf Coast have made since the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina a decade ago However the job here is far from finished Louisiana s coastal wetlands its first line of defense against future storms and a key driver for the health of the Gulf continue to vanish at the stunning rate of one football field an hour We look to President Obama to prioritize restoration of Louisiana s disappearing coast for the remainder of his term and in doing so leave a legacy of lasting resilience for the region President Obama and leaders across government must maximize the impact of restoration efforts by protecting existing revenue streams for restoration ensuring that the parties involved are working together effectively and prioritizing funding for large scale ecosystem projects that will most significantly benefit the region The pending BP settlement provides a tremendous immediate opportunity to do that with billions of dollars that can be dedicated now to the most critical ecosystem projects Gulf wide including substantial investments in the Mississippi River Delta This is not just a Louisiana crisis it s a regional and national issue Louisiana s coast and its communities are powerful economic engines for shipping energy seafood and other industries that feed and fuel the nation and support millions of jobs across America Katrina was the wake up call We certainly hope the Gulf Coast never has a repeat of that level of devastation But unless meaningful coastal restoration moves forward and is funded for the long term we leave the people wildlife and industries across the Louisiana coast at immense risk And because of the flow of funds resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill the President and his Administration have the opportunity to act now to turn these twin disasters into a positive lasting and meaningful legacy in the Gulf Background On July 2 2015 the U S Department of Justice and BP announced an agreement in principle on a global settlement that will resolve all remaining federal and state litigation relating to BP s role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon offshore oil disaster BP will pay a total of 18 732 billion to settle these claims with 7 332 billion designated for Natural Resource Damages in addition to the 1 billion BP already paid for early restoration efforts 5 5 billion in Clean Water Act penalties and 5 9 billion will cover economic damages to states and localities on the Gulf Coast For more information on the agreement in principle click here If the agreement in principle with BP becomes final the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council an independent federal entity established by the RESTORE Act will have more than 1 billion dollars to dedicate to critical ecosystem restoration projects across the Gulf in the near term Additionally the Louisiana Coastal Area Program LCA represents another opportunity to construct large scale ecosystem projects that increase coastal resilience The Administration has requested U S Army Corps of Engineers Corps funding for the Louisiana Coastal Area Program LCA in previous years and Fiscal Year 2017 is an opportune time to refocus on this critical program to maximize synergies with RESTORE Act funding and increase the overall impact of coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana No Comments Restore the Mississippi River Delta Launches Restore the Coast Community Engagement Campaign August 14 2015 Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration Community Resiliency Economy Media Resources Restoration Projects FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Launches Restore the Coast Community Engagement Campaign Campaign Highlights Important Role Louisiana Leaders Play in Coastal Restoration August 14 2015 NEW ORLEANS This weekend the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is launching the Restore the Coast community engagement campaign to highlight the important role Louisiana s elected officials play in coastal restoration This multifaceted nonpartisan education campaign will begin by asking voters to sign a pledge urging leaders to be a voice for coastal restoration protect existing and secure future coastal restoration funding and support Louisiana s Coastal Master Plan The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition made up of national and local organizations working on coastal Louisiana restoration including Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following statement announcing the new campaign The Restore the Coast campaign s goal is to demonstrate the importance of coastal restoration as a central issue for all candidates Its initial step will be to encourage Louisiana residents to do two things pledge to vote and urge elected officials to be a voice for coastal restoration so our communities are better protected from hurricanes floodwaters and other disasters We believe that Louisiana needs leaders who protect existing and secure future coastal restoration funding and support the state s Coastal Master Plan so our future can be safeguarded through long lasting science based coastal restoration projects Our hope is to send a clear message to our public officials Louisianians want leaders who will prioritize coastal restoration by keeping restoration dollars for restoration and continuing the forward progress made through the coastal master planning process Together we can protect our communities and coast for generations to come

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/economy/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Federal Policy | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Damage Assessment Trustees will plan for administer and implement restoration efforts Groups including Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society Ocean Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy issued the following statement The Trustees are about to embark on the biggest restoration program in American history The choices they make now will have repercussions for Gulf ecosystems and communities over the next decade and a half and potentially for generations to follow As the Trustees develop their Standard Operating Procedures a key element in the design of this program we hope they will outline additional opportunities for the public to provide meaningful feedback throughout the restoration process A lot can change in 5 10 and 15 years and the people who live and work in the Gulf should have regular opportunities to engage in this process The Trustees have done a tremendous amount of work and we re grateful for their efforts We were pleased to see the Trustees commit to several measures for coordination across state lines and across funding streams which will enable more successful restoration We look forward to working with the Trustees to make sure the important work of Gulf restoration gets done right No Comments New study Cost of not pursuing significant coastal restoration could reach 133 billion December 21 2015 Posted by jhebert in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Community Resiliency Economics Federal Policy Hurricanes Reports Restore the Coast Science By Elizabeth Van Cleve Communications Manager Environmental Defense Fund Louisiana has lost nearly 1 900 squares miles of land since the 1930s Without future action to restore the coast and reverse this trend the state stands to lose another 1 750 square miles of land by 2060 This land loss crisis not only impacts the communities wildlife and ecology of south Louisiana but it also puts cities homes infrastructure and industries at risk Coastal wetlands serve as a buffer against the effects of waves storms and sea level rise The continued loss of wetlands jeopardizes Louisiana s diverse economy as well as the entire nation that depends on the Mississippi River Delta for shipping oil and gas fisheries tourism and other industries A recent study conducted by the Louisiana State University LSU and the RAND Corporation aims to measure the future economic impacts of continued coastal land loss Commissioned by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA Economic Evaluation of Coastal Land Loss in Louisiana provides a quantitative understanding of the economic damages caused by wetlands loss if we don t take action now to restore the coast The two year study measures the projected economic costs associated with continued land loss under future with no action scenario including projected damages to capital stock such as buildings homes and roads disruption of economic activity including employment and trade flows and changes in ecosystem services and related industries such as fisheries tourism and recreation Key findings from the report include 2 1 3 5 billion Total replacement cost associated with capital stock at risk from land loss 5 8 7 4 billion Total annual output economic activity at risk from land loss 10 133 billion Increase in storm damage to capital stock 5 51 billion Total output lost to increased storm damage Every dollar we spend today on coastal restoration and protection will save us many many more dollars in the future said CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline in a press release But beyond being cost feasible we re talking about saving lives families homes business and our way of life This study by LSU and RAND is important in making our case to Congress and the nation that it is better for many reasons to spend now rather than later Read the full report on CPRA s website here The Times Picayune video Coastal erosion hurricane could cost Louisiana 133 billion Learn more about how coastal restoration is important to the economy at OurCoastOurEconomy org No Comments Funding for Louisiana Coastal Area Program Included in Omnibus Spending Bill December 17 2015 Posted by jhebert in Army Corps of Engineers coastal restoration Congress Federal Policy Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Media Resources Water Resources Development Act WRDA FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 jlopez saveourlake org Funding for Louisiana Coastal Area Program Included in Omnibus Spending Bill Money Will Help Advance Critical Coastal Restoration Projects WASHINGTON Dec 17 2015 Yesterday the U S Congress unveiled a year end spending bill that includes more than 10 million in funding for the Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Program The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 is expected to be approved in coming days by the full Congress This funding includes 10 million for LCA Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials BUD Mat Construction and 50 000 for LCA General Investigations and reflects a request in the President s FY 16 budget These levels were previously included in both U S House and U S Senate versions of FY 16 Energy and Water Appropriations bills National and local conservation groups working together on Mississippi River Delta restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana released the following statement We commend Congressional leaders and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for including critical funding for the Louisiana Coastal Area Program in this year end spending bill LCA projects will help restore critical wetlands throughout the Mississippi River Delta which will protect Louisiana s vital coastal infrastructure and natural resources We would especially like to thank the Louisiana Congressional delegation for their bipartisan efforts and dedication to Louisiana s coast The Mississippi River Delta is home to more than 2 million people and countless wildlife and birds and is an economic engine for the entire nation providing billions of dollars in economic activity Ten years after Hurricane Katrina and five years after the Gulf oil disaster this funding provides a critical opportunity to advance much needed coastal restoration We are gratified by the commitment to restoration the Obama Administration and Congress have shown in advancing the restoration program in fiscal year 2016 and we look forward to continued progress in the years ahead The state of Louisiana has included many LCA projects in its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and this funding is an important down payment in the effort to move that important suite of projects forward along the path to completion Our organizations look forward to working with the state of Louisiana and the U S Army Corps of Engineers on seeing these Louisiana Coastal Area Program projects through from engineering and design to implementation The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss we offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments 52 2 million in oil spill funds approved for Louisiana coastal restoration December 15 2015 Posted by Delta Dispatches in 2012 Coastal Master Plan BP Oil Disaster coastal restoration Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Restoration Projects RESTORE Act By Elizabeth Weiner Senior Policy Manager Environmental Defense Fund Penny Pritzker Secretary of Commerce and Chair of the RESTORE Council Dec 9 2015 Credit Robert Smith Wildlife Mississippi Last week the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration RESTORE Council approved its first Funded Priorities List FPL of projects and programs to fund with civil penalties available from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Transocean settlement This is an important step forward for the entire Gulf Coast that is still recovering from the spill In particular for the Mississippi River Delta the FPL demonstrates both the state of Louisiana s commitment to funding Coastal Master Plan projects with RESTORE dollars and progress in implementing the master plan Louisiana submitted five project proposals all of which are projects from the Coastal Master Plan While these projects are still in planning phases they represent critical near term opportunities to keep the Mississippi River Delta on its path to recovery and sustainability The Louisiana master plan projects receiving funding include Golden Triangle Marsh Creation Project 4 3 million planning Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp Project 14 2 million planning Biloxi Marsh Living Shoreline Project 3 2 million planning West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization Project 7 3 million planning Lowermost Mississippi River Management Program 9 3 million planning Two additional projects Jean Lafitte Canal Backfilling 8 7 million implementation and Bayou Dularge Ridge Marsh and Hydrologic Restoration 5 2 million planning are also located in Louisiana and were included in the Council s FPL These two projects submitted for funding by federal members of the RESTORE Council are complementary to and consistent with the Coastal Master Plan and will directly benefit coastal Louisiana The RESTORE Council meeting in Biloxi Miss Dec 9 2015 Credit Robert Smith Wildlife Mississippi The finalization of this FPL comes in follow up to positive progress made through other Gulf oil spill funding streams the National Fish and Wildlife Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund created by criminal plea agreements with multiple responsible parties and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration NRDA process Now that BP s settlement of civil penalties and responsibilities under NRDA is pending both the RESTORE Council and the NRDA Trustee Council will be able to make even more progress with an eye toward large scale restoration For the RESTORE Council the next step will be an update to its Initial Comprehensive Plan to improve decision making project selection and to consider the projects planned and funded through the other oil spill funding streams For the NRDA Trustees their next step will be considering public comments and finalizing the draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan No Comments RESTORE Council Votes to Approve Priority List of Gulf Restoration Projects for Funding December 9 2015 Posted by jhebert in BP Oil Disaster Federal Policy Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Media Resources Restoration Projects RESTORE Act FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE RESTORE Council Votes to Approve Priority List of Gulf Restoration Projects for Funding December 9 2015 Biloxi Miss Today the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration RESTORE Council voted to approve its first Funded Priorities List FPL a compilation of restoration projects the Council will prioritize for funding and implementation following the 2010 Gulf oil disaster This set of projects will be funded by a portion of RESTORE Act dollars designated for ecosystem restoration from the Transocean Clean Water Act settlement National and local conservation organizations working on Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River Delta restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society Ocean Conservancy The Nature Conservancy Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following statement in response to today s announcement We congratulate the RESTORE Council and staff on their efforts to finalize this Funded Priorities List Our organizations look forward to continuing to monitor projects as they move into the implementation phase Additionally now that the BP settlement is near final the RESTORE Council and the Gulf states have a tremendous opportunity ahead to achieve broader meaningful restoration and lasting resilience for the essential ecosystems of the Gulf However with certainty around funding levels the Council will be faced with difficult decisions In order to make progress toward comprehensive restoration the Council will need a science based process for prioritizing future projects with a focus on more large scale proposals With the first BP settlement payments on the horizon it is essential that the Council promptly turn its attention to updating the Comprehensive Plan so that it can serve as a tool to guide future investments around the Gulf We stand ready to assist the Council and staff as they undertake this critical next step Media Contact Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Rachel Guillory Ocean Conservancy 504 208 5816 rguillory oceanconservancy org Andrew Blejwas The Nature Conservancy 617 785 7047 ablejwas tnc org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 johnlopez saveourlake org No Comments Coast 2050 s Lasting Impacts on Coastal Restoration November 5 2015 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Restoration Projects Water Resources Development Act WRDA By Estelle Robichaux Restoration Project Analyst Environmental Defense Fund and Gaby Garcia Science Intern Environmental Defense Fund This post is part of a series on early restoration planning in Louisiana Be sure to check out our previous posts part one part two and part three Since the early 1990 s the Coastal Wetlands Planning Preservation and Restoration Act CWPPRA has been providing a steady funding stream for Louisiana coastal restoration averaging about 45 million per year Yet despite this funding commitment at the time there was still a void in actionable systematic restoration planning for coastal Louisiana Seeing a need the Louisiana State Wetlands Authority and the CWPRRA Task Force collaborated to develop Coast 2050 a strategic plan for creating an enduring and sustainable Louisiana coast Approved in 1998 the plan was a consensus based stakeholder informed initiative that received explicit support from all 20 coastal parishes Louisiana s coastal parishes This comprehensive plan takes a regional perspective on restoration based on three strategic goals To create and sustain marsh by accumulating sediment and plant matter To maintain habitat diversity by varying salinities and protecting key land forms and To maintain ecosystem connections so there is exchange of energy plants and animals By focusing on these guiding principles the participants in this collaborative effort were able to generate a plan that relies on a variety of restoration tools from shoreline protection and marsh creation to the reintroduction of fresh water and sediment to deteriorating wetlands From Coast 2050 to LCA Study The Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Ecosystem Restoration Study was an outgrowth of Coast 2050 that took the plan s restoration concepts and strategies and formulated them into more specific project ideas that could be analyzed and studied The overall goal of the LCA study was to reverse the trend of coastal ecosystem degradation with a specific focus on using restoration strategies that would reintroduce historic flows of river water nutrients and sediment to the coastal wetlands The results of the study which were finalized and published in 2004 identify 15 projects categorized as critical near term features This means that the project or action addresses essential ecological needs of coastal Louisiana in areas where delaying action would result in greater future restoration costs and possibly a loss of opportunity for restoration Although the approved LCA plan and these 15 critical near term projects were included in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act no funds were actually appropriated for this work Meaning that while the U S Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to work on these coastal restoration projects they did not give them any money to do it Coast 2050 s Lasting Impacts Many of the recommended actions and priorities advanced in Coast 2050 have had a lasting imprint on restoration planning in Louisiana by setting the stage for project ideas that became a part of the LCA Ecosystem Restoration Study and eventually the 2012 Coastal Master Plan Coast 2050 Louisiana Coastal Area and 2012 Coastal Master Plan projects click to enlarge Despite the lack of funds and forward momentum in implementing the LCA plan over the past decade these projects and ideas that will have a great benefit to the ecosystem and are strongly rooted in science are finally advancing through the state s Coastal Master Plan and oil spill related funding Many of these are priority projects for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition because they are based in sound science have been planned and studied for a long time and are key to comprehensive and sustainable coastal restoration While implementation of some of these projects has been slow we expect that many of them will see greater progress now that the results of the basin wide modeling effort have been announced CPRA s recent recommendation to move forward the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversions into engineering and design and as more funding becomes available through the pending BP settlement No Comments Governor Jindal s Plan to Redirect Coastal Restoration Funding is Bad for Louisiana October 9 2015 Posted by lbourg in Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Media Resources RESTORE Act Restore the Coast Governor Jindal s Plan to Redirect Coastal Restoration Funding is Bad for Louisiana Conservation Groups Launch Ad Campaign Opposing Jindal Funding Proposal New Orleans Oct 9 2015 A coalition of local and national conservation groups will sponsor paid print and online advertisements in newspapers across south Louisiana this weekend opposing Governor Bobby Jindal s proposal to redirect money from the Coastal Master Plan to fund the elevation of Louisiana Highway 1 The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition which includes Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society and National Wildlife Federation implores

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/federal-policy/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Clean Water Act | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    oil In fact Louisiana s coastal islands continue to experience re oiling even today Caminada Headland Beach Dune Restoration One very important barrier island restoration project currently underway is the Caminada Headland Beach Dune restoration which is part of our coalition s priority project Belle Pass to Caminada Pass Barrier Island Restoration The Caminada Headland forms the western edge of the Barataria Basin barrier system and has experienced some of the highest rates of shoreline retreat and land loss along the Louisiana coast Photo Google Earth I recently had the opportunity to see the first constructed phase of the Caminada restoration project on a field trip hosted by our partner Restore or Retreat and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission It was inspiring to see restoration at work There were birds and crabs on the shoreline small plants naturally re vegetating and the different project components working together breakwaters protecting the shore and the sand fence having created a substantial dune More projects like this are exactly what coastal Louisiana needs Why is the Caminada Headland important The Caminada Headland is a significant feature along Louisiana s coastline because it provides critical habitat for important neotropical migratory birds and threatened or endangered species such as the piping plover and Kemp s ridley sea turtle It is also a buffer from storm surge and waves for valuable public and private infrastructure including Port Fourchon and Highway 1 which provides the only evacuation route for coastal communities such as Grand Isle La Piping plover Photo Erik Johnson Port Fourchon Photo Estelle Robichaux Port Fourchon is an important nexus in our national energy infrastructure system Approximately 18 percent of the nation s oil supply is transported through the port and it is the land base for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port LOOP The LOOP is connected to refineries across the country which collectively make up half of the oil refining capacity in the U S and handles about 15 percent of our foreign oil imports The activity infrastructure and continuing growth of the port is truly impressive What makes this restoration project unique The first phase of the Caminada Headland restoration project created and enhanced more than 300 acres of beach and dune habitat This project used a mix of sediment pumped from the Mississippi River and high quality beach compatible sand from Ship Shoal a large marine sand deposit just offshore of Isles Dernieres Most of the other nearby sand sources have been exhausted so this was the first time that sediment from Ship Shoal has been used for restoration Photo Gulf Coast Air Photo The planning and design of the Caminada project was funded using the Coastal Impact Assistance Program and Louisiana state surplus funds but they only had enough money 70 million to restore a portion of the island The success of this first phase however was leveraged when more funding became available via the National Fish Wildlife Foundation to complete restoration of Caminada s beach and dune habitat Construction on the first phase of the beach and dune habitat restoration is complete and soon the entire project area will be planted with native vegetation The second phase of construction for the Caminada Headland restoration project which at 489 acres is the largest restoration project ever undertaken by Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority should begin within the next month Design for restoration of the Caminada Headland back barrier marsh is also currently underway Check out my previous post in this series Exploring Early Coastal Restoration Funding and Projects 1 Comment Five Years Later Gulf Oil Disaster s Impacts to Habitat and Wildlife Still Evident March 31 2015 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Birds BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Media Resources RESTORE Act Science Wildlife FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Five Years Later Gulf Oil Disaster s Impacts to Habitat and Wildlife Still Evident Leading Conservation Groups Highlight BP Spill s Ongoing Effects Continued Need for Restoration New Orleans LA March 31 2015 Five years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded killing 11 men and spewing at least 3 19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico leading national and local conservation organizations working on Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following statement Despite BP s claims that the Gulf oil disaster and its ecological impacts are over ongoing research and present day observations in areas that were heavily oiled tell a different story New independent scientific studies provide evidence that the full consequences of the spill to wildlife and habitats are still unfolding From dolphins to sea turtles to birds we still are seeing the real and lasting environmental impacts of one of the worst oil spills in our nation s history BP claims the nearly 134 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf has not negatively affected the ecosystem But continued surveillance of areas like Barataria Bay where thick oil coated vital wildlife habitat including marshes and barrier islands reveals lasting effects of the spill Cat Island a mangrove island that was heavily oiled was once a lush thriving rookery for brown pelicans and other birds but today it is gray lifeless and has nearly disappeared Other coastal areas damaged by the spill are also still in need of repair To this day oil is still being found most recently in the form of a 25 000 pound tar mat located on a Louisiana barrier island near where 40 000 pounds of BP oiled material was unearthed two years ago It s time for BP to put the publicity campaign aside stop shirking responsibility and finally make it right for the people wildlife and habitats of the Gulf Coast The oil disaster wreaked incomparable damage to an already stressed Gulf Coast ecosystem In Louisiana the oil spill dealt another blow to an area ravaged by land loss since the 1930s Louisiana has lost nearly 1 900 square miles of land or an area the size of Delaware Nowhere is restoration more needed than the Mississippi River Delta which is the cornerstone of a healthy Gulf ecosystem Restoration solutions are within reach and plans are in place but implementation of restoration plans cannot fully begin until BP accepts responsibility and pays its fines Thanks to vehicles like Louisiana s Coastal Master Plan and the historic RESTORE Act of 2012 which ensures that the Clean Water Act fines BP pays will be used for restoration the Gulf Coast can make headway on real restoration projects that can make a difference We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to restore the health of our wetlands revive Gulf Coast economies that depend on them and make the Gulf Coast better than it was before the spill but we must begin restoration now The Gulf Coast and the people wildlife and jobs that depend on it cannot wait any longer Background Since the BP oil disaster five years ago ongoing findings deliver truths omitted by BP s ads the oil disaster s negative effects are increasingly clear present and far from resolved A new infographic depicts ongoing impacts of the Gulf oil disaster five years later And over the past year alone new scientific research has surfaced A 2014 study found evidence of a 1 250 square mile area of oil contamination on the ocean floor around the Macondo wellhead in deep Gulf sediments A new NOAA study found a large number of dead dolphins in heavily oiled places including Barataria Bay La Recent studies estimate 800 000 birds died as a result of being exposed to BP oil Modeling for a recent stock assessment projected that between 20 000 and 60 000 Kemp s ridley sea turtles died in 2010 as a result of the spill A 2014 study found concentrations of PAH polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon which can cause harmful effects in many birds fish and wildlife in Barataria and Terrebonne marshes which may persist for decades A 2012 study found that oiled marshes in Barataria Bay eroded at double the rate of non oiled marshes David Muth of the National Wildlife Federation on a tour of Barataria Bay La March 31 2015 No Comments Third and Final Phase of the BP Trial Brought to a Close on February 2 2015 February 9 2015 Posted by lbourg in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Federal Policy RESTORE Act By Will Lindsey This is the second post about phase III of trial To read part I click here The third and final phase of the BP trial ended on Monday February 2 2015 Based on the evidence presented in this phase U S District Judge Carl Barbier will decide the Clean Water Act civil penalty that both BP and Anadarko a 25 percent non operator in the Macando well will pay The United States is seeking the maximum Clean Water Act penalty of up to 13 7 billion from BP and an amount more than 1 billion from Anadarko Throughout the trial Judge Barbier was relatively quiet occasionally inserting questions or points of clarification Towards the end of the trial however Judge Barbier suggested on numerous occasions that some of the testimony BP was presenting was duplicative This was especially true during the testimony of a BP exploration production executive Richard Morrison As Mr Morrison was testifying about the extent of BP s response efforts after the spill Judge Barbier interrupted at least twice to suggest that it was testimony that he had already heard from previous witnesses Judge Barbier also interrupted during the testimony of one of Anadarko s witnesses For its second witness Anadarko called Kenneth Arnold an expert in the field of safety in drilling operations Mr Arnold testified that requiring additional duties of non operators such as Clean Water Act civil penalties could lead to confusion and ultimately a lower level of safety in drilling operations This argument aligns with Anadarko s overall theme that there was no act committed by Anadarko as a non operator and thus assessing a Clean Water Act civil penalty against the company would not serve to deter future behavior Judge Barbier stepped in here however suggesting that a policy argument such as this should be made before Congress and not in the courtroom Despite allowing Anadarko to proceed with Mr Arnold s testimony Judge Barbier noted that Congress had already clearly decided to make an owner or operator liable for discharges under the Clean Water Act The United States has several strong arguments weighing in favor of a high Clean Water Act civil penalty The first is that there were numerous stakeholders involved in the spill response including the U S Coast Guard and a number of federal agencies Each of these entities expended time resources and expertise in responding to the spill Given that one of the factors that Judge Barbier will consider in assessing the civil penalty is the success of efforts to minimize or mitigate the effects of the discharge is it is important that BP not get credit for the entirety of the spill response actions that were taken as indeed BP was not responding to the spill in isolation The second big point weighing in favor of a higher penalty is that lowering the civil penalty based on previously paid penalties such as criminal penalty assessed against BP would ultimately dilute the effect of these penalties During opening statements Judge Barbier asked the parties if there was any precedent for requiring that a Clean Water Act civil penalty be paid over a specified amount of time rather than as a single lump sum The United States indicated that there was at least one such instance in a Clean Water Act suit This indicates at least to some degree that Judge Barbier is considering the option of assessing a high civil penalty against the company Due to the enactment of the RESTORE Act 80 percent of the penalties resulting from this phase will go to the Gulf Coast for restoration This funding cannot come soon enough given the high price tag that many coastal restoration projects carry with them Ultimately the funding stemming from this trial could mean the difference in reversing the trend of coastal wetland loss that has been impacting the gulf coast for decades It is unclear when exactly Judge Barbier will come out with a penalty ruling But recent polling indicates that 70 percent of Americans believe BP should pay the maximum allowed under the Clean Water Act for its role in one of the largest oil spills in American history It is imperative to both the Gulf and the nation that BP be held fully accountable No Comments Phase III Week 1 Recap of the BP oil spill trial January 25 2015 Posted by lbourg in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Federal Policy By Will Lindsey The first week of phase III of the BP trial ended on Friday January 23 During this phase which is expected to last three weeks Judge Carl Barbier will determine the amount of Clean Water Act civil penalties that BP must pay for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster Phase III comes after two previous phases the first of which determined that BP was 67 percent responsible for the spill while phase II determined that 3 19 million barrels of oil were discharged into the Gulf after the oil collected was deducted Given these findings of fact and conclusions of law Judge Barbier will now determine what BP will pay In so determining Judge Barbier will consider 8 factors laid out in the Clean Water Act for assessing civil penalties including 1 the seriousness of the violation or violations 2 the economic benefit to the violator if any resulting from the violation 3 the degree of culpability involved 4 any other penalty for the same incident 5 any history of prior violations 6 the nature extent and degree of success of any efforts to the violator to minimize or mitigate the effects of the discharge 7 the economic impact of the penalty on the violator and 8 any other matters as justice may require Each side will present extensive evidence primarily in the form of expert testimony on most of these factors The United States will not present new evidence on factors that it contends have already been determined such as the degree of culpability which was determined in phase II In addition the United States will not present new evidence on the economic benefit to BP of the violations as it contends that phase I dealt with BP s cost cutting decisions However many of these factors will be adamantly disputed and ultimately a battle of the experts will ensue at trial Each side will attempt to discredit the expert witnesses called by the opposing side Experts will testify on BP s ability to pay the maximum penalty BP s response efforts the impact that the spill had on the environment and BP s economic importance to the Gulf Coast among other issues BP indicated in its opening statement that it will highlight the extent of its response efforts to suggest that impacts were successfully mitigated It will also highlight the expenditures both as a result of legal proceedings and otherwise that it has incurred thus far The United States will in turn emphasize the fact that response effort successes were a result of efforts carried out by numerous parties and not solely attributable to BP as it indicated in its opening statement Additionally the United States will argue that a reduction of the civil penalties in this proceeding based on other penalties like the criminal penalty would mean that BP is effectively not paying these penalties Ultimately the expert reports and testimonies of each side will differ A clear example can be seen in the expert testimony of Captain Mark VanHaverbeke who testified that approximately five percent of the oil was removed from the Gulf He indicated that this estimate is lower than the estimate of BP s expert Captain Frank Paskewich because it does not include oil that was dispersed or burned Captain VanHaverbeke testified that these two methods do not actually remove the oil from the environment Captain Paskewich s estimates included oil that was dispersed and burned The Gulf Coast is desperately in need of funding for coastal restoration efforts The billions of dollars at stake in this litigation could mean great things for coastal restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast The United States will seek an amount close to the maximum penalty of 13 7 billion No Comments What is Phase III of the BP Trial January 20 2015 Posted by lbourg in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Federal Policy RESTORE Act Phase III of the BP Trial started this week But what does this mean Why are there phases and when will this trial end All good questions The BP trial underway is a civil not criminal litigation between the U S Department of Justice and BP and other parties responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil spill BP and others are being held accountable for violations of the Clean Water Act for spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico Because of the RESTORE Act 80 percent of all fines and penalties resulting from this trial will return to the Gulf Coast for restoration Before specifically getting to Phase III let s recap the earlier phases The first two phases of the trial dealt with a who was at fault for the oil spill and to what extent and b how much oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico In dividing up who was at fault for the Deepwater Horizon

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/federal-policy/clean-water-act/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    offer science based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration Composed of conservation policy science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Louisiana Washington D C and around the United States Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter No Comments Deepwater Horizon Settlement Some Answers New Questions July 8 2015 Posted by lbourg in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Federal Policy Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA RESTORE Act This information was originally posted on the Environmental Law Institute s website By ELI Gulf Team On July 2 2015 a monumental announcement was made an agreement in principle has been reached to settle all federal and state claims against BP arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for 18 732 billion see BP s press release here This amount includes While we are still waiting on the exact details of the settlement we do know some of the terms We will focus on the natural resource damages and Clean Water Act civil penalties specifically the RESTORE Act here considering 1 What do we know 2 What were the potential damages or penalties 3 What information is still missing Note that this agreement is by no means final the details still need to be hammered out and once they are they will be set out in a consent decree which will be open for public comment before it goes to the court for final approval Natural Resource Damages NRD As a refresher a Natural Resource Damage Assessment is a process focused on restoring natural resources injured by an oil spill The goal is to restore the resources to the condition they would have been in had the oil spill not occurred called baseline This process is led by government representatives called trustees The parties responsible for the spill pay for among other things the costs of restoration 1 What do we know BP has agreed to pay 7 1 billion in natural resource damages This is in addition to the 1 billion already committed for early restoration The 8 1 billion total is divided as follows Louisiana will receive the bulk of the funding over 60 Notably over 1 billion will go to open ocean projects which have not received a substantial amount of funding under early restoration A few additional notes The money will be paid out over 15 years Interest will accrue on the unpaid balance this interest is payable the year after the last NRD payment but the Gulf states and federal government may request payment of the accrued interest after 10 years to address unknown natural resource damages An additional 232 million will be made available for unknown natural resource damages the year after the 7 1 billion is paid An additional 350 million will be paid for costs related to assessing the natural resource damages 2 What were the potential damages Natural resource damages were in the process of being assessed when the agreement was announced Evaluation of damages is complicated and we will know more about the quantification of damages after more information is released much of it was confidential due to the potential for litigation 3 What information is still missing There is still information we do not know including The terms under which the interest can be accessed early The terms under which the additional 232 million can be accessed What types of restoration projects will be chosen The timeline for the restoration plan s and implementing projects As for participation opportunities in addition to commenting on the terms of the consent decree there will be opportunities for the public to comment on the restoration plan s and projects We will post these opportunities on our Public Participation Bulletin Board as they arise RESTORE Act As a refresher the RESTORE Act diverts 80 of Clean Water Act civil and administrative penalties collected as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf for restoration and recovery The funds go to five different pots learn more here 1 What do we know BP has agreed to pay 5 5 billion in Clean Water Act civil penalties which means that 4 4 billion 80 of 5 5 billion will flow through RESTORE The graph below shows how this 4 4 billion will be allocated Among the states Louisiana is slated to receive the most RESTORE Act funding 18 of the RESTORE funds Florida Alabama and Mississippi will receive around 14 of the RESTORE funds with Texas receiving 10 A few additional notes The money will be paid out over 15 years Interest will accrue on the balance payable the year the last RESTORE Act payment is made Adding the 4 4 billion to the 800 million already flowing through RESTORE from the Transocean settlement a total of 5 2 billion has now been obligated to RESTORE 2 What were the potential penalties BP s Clean Water Act civil penalties were the subject of ongoing litigation see our post on the trial here The court had not released a decision on the penalty amount before the settlement announcement At the time of the announcement BP faced a 13 7 billion maximum penalty 3 What information is still missing At this time we don t know how the states will spend their share of the funding and what their priorities will be though Louisiana is expected to fund projects from its Coastal Master Plan We also don t know what types of projects the RESTORE Council will prioritize for funding As for participation opportunities in addition to commenting on the consent decree there will be state specific and Gulf wide participation opportunities We will track these on our Public Participation Bulletin Board New Questions Once the details of the agreement are fleshed out there will be answers to many of our remaining questions A number of questions will nonetheless persist particularly on which projects will be chosen and how they will be implemented It is therefore essential that the public remain involved and participate as the restoration processes move forward While the agreement represents a monumental step forward it is just the start of a long recovery road ahead For more information on the Environmental Law Institute s Ocean Program click here No Comments Gulf Restoration Groups Ready to Put Billions to Work to Bring Back Gulf July 2 2015 Posted by lbourg in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Federal Policy Media Resources Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA RESTORE Act FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Emily Guidry Schatzel National Wildlife Federation 225 253 9781 schatzele nwf org Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society 504 264 6849 jhebert audubon org Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund 202 553 2543 evancleve edf org Rachel Guillory Ocean Conservancy 504 208 5816 rguillory oceanconservancy org Andrew Blejwas The Nature Conservancy 617 785 7047 ablejwas tnc org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 317 2046 jimmy frederick crcl org John Lopez Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation 504 421 7348 johnlopez pobox com Gulf Restoration Groups Ready to Put Billions to Work to Bring Back Gulf Region s economy and well being are based on strong resilient ecosystem New Orleans LA July 2 2015 National and local organizations working on Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River Delta restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society Ocean Conservancy The Nature Conservancy Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation released the following statement in response to today s announcement of an agreement in principle between the Gulf states federal government and BP for its role in the largest U S offshore oil disaster in history Although the settlement will not be finalized for several weeks the agreement will dedicate billions of dollars to restore damage caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill In sharp contrast to the decades long litigation following the Exxon Valdez spill federal and state leaders have wasted no time in closing this case Their swift work means meaningful restoration efforts are imminent Their leadership at this moment is invaluable While we await key details one thing is clear As soon as the settlement is final it will be time to put that money to work We need our leaders to make sure that every dime of this settlement is used as it is intended to address oil spill impacts and repair long standing ecosystem damage We cannot afford to wait any longer The Gulf ecosystem is the backbone of the local economy and our primary defense from storms during hurricane season This settlement which promises to be the largest environmental settlement in American history is an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate and expand the response to the devastating harm caused by the spill and to build lasting resilience into the essential ecosystems of the Gulf We are especially encouraged that the settlement will put special emphasis on restoring health to the Mississippi River Delta and its coastal wetlands We also urge leaders in NOAA and other agencies to leverage resources from this settlement to restore marine resources A recent infographic depicts ongoing impacts of the Gulf oil disaster five years later And over the past year alone new scientific research has surfaced A 2014 study found evidence of a 1 250 square mile area of oil contamination on the ocean floor around the Macondo wellhead in deep Gulf sediments A previous NOAA study found a large number of dead dolphins in heavily oiled places including Barataria Bay La Recent studies estimate an unprecedented number of birds upwards of 1 million died as a result of being exposed to BP oil A 2014 study found concentrations of PAH polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon which can cause harmful effects in many birds fish and wildlife in Barataria and Terrebonne marshes which may persist for decades A 2012 study found that oiled marshes in Barataria Bay eroded at double the rate of non oiled marshes No Comments 8th Graders Present Project to Louisiana House on Coastal Restoration April 30 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later Birds BP Oil Disaster Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Wildlife By Eden Davis Outreach Coordinator Louisiana Wildlife Federation This was originally posted on the LA Camo Coalition blog On April 29 a group of 8th graders from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Belle Chasse presented to the Louisiana House Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment about the importance of coastal restoration The Committee diligently listened as the 8th graders used Cat Island as a call to action on the urgency for restoring our coast Cat Island located in Plaquemines Parish has all but disappeared going from a pre BP 5 acres to now mere tenths of an acre The 8th graders have spearheaded a campaign called the Pelican Cat astrophe Their focus is on restoring Cat Island due to the island serving as critical pelican habitat and also as the first line of defense for coastal communities against storm surge Cat Island has historically been one of the greatest nesting locations for the Louisiana state bird the brown pelican Until 2009 the brown pelican was on the endangered species list Cat Island These students are quite persuasive after presenting to the Plaquemines Parish Council the Council approved 1 2 million in spending to restore Cat Island After the 8th graders spoke Chip Kline from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority confirmed the state s plans to restore Cat Island Kline said that the exact amount of funding is contingent on what damage to Cat Island the Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA determines is the fault of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Go the Pelican Cat astrophe website here No Comments The Science of the Spill April 14 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later BP Oil Disaster Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Science By Alisha Renfro Coastal Scientist National Wildlife Federation The blow out of the Macondo well claimed 11 lives and began the largest marine oil spill in U S history It took 87 days to finally cap the well and by then at least 134 million gallons of crude oil had been expelled into the Gulf of Mexico With the source of the oil nearly a mile below the surface of the water and at four times the size of the Exxon Valdez the BP oil disaster presented many new challenges The experience and response methods used in previous oil spills was often found to be impossible to apply or ineffective As a result scientists began scrambling to measure how much oil was leaking from the well tracking and predicting where it would go and trying to understand what this spill would mean for the people wildlife and habitat of the Gulf While large amounts of scientific data have been collected and published in peer reviewed journals in the five years since the oil spill more scientific research is still ongoing The science related to the spill has been largely funded through a few different sources including National Science Foundation s Rapid Response Grants NSF RAPID The NSF has scientific funding available to address pressing research needs during unanticipated events like the BP oil spill The availability and flexibility of this funding source allowed scientists receiving this grant to quickly mobilize and collect important data that may have otherwise been missed in the confusion in the days after the spill when oil was still gushing out of the wellhead Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI In May 2010 BP dedicated 500 million over 10 years to independent scientific research to investigate the oil spill impacts on the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf coast states This initiative funded research projects and research consortia that range from the deep Gulf to the shoreline Hundreds of peer reviewed publications have resulted from this initiative and a searchable list of this research can be found here Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizes natural resource trustees specific federal agencies affected states and the party responsible in this case BP to evaluate the impacts of this oil spill on the natural resources of the region and to implement projects that restore or replace those resources While the NRDA process related the BP oil spill is touted as the most transparent in its history the many findings of the ongoing assessment are not available to the public The unprecedented size and complexity of the BP oil spill demands well funded intensive and wide ranging scientific study This research particularly through NRDA is crucial for the path forward towards restoration that will bolster and restore the health of the Gulf ecosystem and the people and wildlife that depend on it You can read more of my blog posts here Five years later scientists gather to assess ongoing impact of BP oil spill New study examines ecological and coastal restoration benefits of oyster reefs No Comments Exploring Early Coastal Restoration Funding and Projects April 3 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later BP Oil Disaster Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation project By Estelle Robichaux Restoration Project Analyst Environmental Defense Fund Five years after the BP oil disaster Gulf Coast communities are still recovering environmental restoration is still needed and we will not know the full impacts of the spill for possibly decades to come Comprehensive ecosystem restoration of the Gulf cannot begin in earnest until BP accepts responsibility and pays its civil Clean Water Act fines which could amount to nearly 14 billion These fines will be used for Gulf Coast restoration thanks to the 2012 federal RESTORE Act Since the spill however some funds have been made available for initial restoration projects and research program development Over a series of blog posts we will explore some of these funding streams and the restoration efforts they support Restoration funding through NFWF The National Fish Wildlife Federation NFWF a congressionally chartered non profit organization was founded as a conservation grant maker and clearinghouse In 2013 NFWF established its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund to administer funds resulting from settlement agreements reached with Transocean and BP in the wake of the 2010 oil disaster The terms of these agreements state that Louisiana will receive half of these funds which total 2 544 billion over the course of five years for environmental restoration Specifically this money is dedicated to barrier island restoration and river diversion projects Since NFWF began granting money to the five Gulf states in late 2013 more than 221 1 million has been awarded to Louisiana for seven restoration projects and programs all of which support our coalition s priority projects including Caminada Headland Beach Dune Restoration Construction on a second phase of the Caminada Headland Beach Dune restoration project should be underway this April The engineering design and permitting of this project which is part of the Belle Pass to Caminada Pass Barrier Island Headland Restoration has been funded and completed East Timbalier Island Restoration The East Timbalier Island restoration project part of the Timbalier Islands Barrier Island Restoration has received funding for engineering design and permitting The final design and permitting of this project which has to be completed before it can be constructed is expected to wrap up in late 2017 River Diversions Engineering permitting and stakeholder engagement for the Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion has been funded and is underway Initial planning studies for other river diversions are also being funded such as the Mid Breton Lower Breton and Lower Barataria Sediment Diversions Planning decisions are currently being made about the Increase Atchafalaya Flow to Terrebonne project and it may be into engineering and design as early as next year CPRA s Adaptive Management Program Components of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority s Adaptive Management program are also being funded by NFWF including the

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/federal-policy/natural-resource-damage-assessment-nrda/ (2016-05-01)
    Open archived version from archive



  •