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  • Five Years after BP Oil Spill: Focus Should Be on Continued Need for Restoration | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Should Be on Continued Need for Restoration Leading Conservation Groups Challenge BP to Stop Campaign of Misinformation Fund Restoration New Orleans LA April 16 2015 Monday April 20 marks five years since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded killing 11 men and spewing at least 3 19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico In advance of the memorial 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 As we approach the fifth anniversary of one of the worst environmental disasters in U S history there is no question that the damage unleashed by the BP oil spill is serious evident and ongoing Five years have passed and BP is still sidestepping responsibility Despite BP s attempts to convince the public through high priced publicity campaigns that the Gulf is fine the negative impacts of its gross negligence will be felt for decades BP claims that the Gulf s natural resources have rebounded but peer reviewed scientific studies and visible ongoing effects tell another story Five years later 10 million gallons of oil remain on the Gulf floor Last month a 25 000 pound BP tar mat was discovered on a Louisiana barrier island And Cat Island an important nesting site for brown pelicans and other coastal birds has nearly disappeared since the spill Even more troubling are the lingering effects not visible significant damage from oil and chemical dispersants to the food web wildlife and overall ecosystem of the Gulf Coast In the courts of public opinion and science BP s claims that the spill s effects are limited and that the Gulf has recovered have no merit Rather than wasting additional precious time and money dodging blame it s time for BP to drop the publicity campaign let the courts and scientific process decide and then quickly pay for the damage it caused The Gulf Coast depends on a healthy ecosystem to feed and fuel the nation so ensuring that it s comprehensively restored is not just a regional issue it s of utmost importance to people across the country A recent poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe BP should pay the maximum fine allowed under the Clean Water Act Clearly America is stronger when the Gulf is stronger both ecologically and economically But in addition to the effects of the spill Louisiana has been facing a land loss crisis for decades since the 1930s we have lost 1 900 square miles of land Nowhere is restoration more needed than in the Mississippi River Delta which was ground zero for the Gulf oil disaster BP should put its money where it is most needed toward meaningful restoration of America s Gulf Coast as opposed to legal fees and promotional dollars We have a historic opportunity to restore the health of our wetlands revive Gulf Coast economies that depend on them and

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/04/16/five-years-after-bp-oil-spill-focus-should-be-on-continued-need-for-restoration/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Five Years Later: Gulf Oil Disaster’s Impacts to Habitat and Wildlife Still Evident | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/03/31/five-years-later-gulf-oil-disasters-impacts-to-habitat-and-wildlife-still-evident/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Survey Says Majority of Americans Believe BP Should Pay Maximum Gulf Oil Spill Fines | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Task Force Hunting and Fishing Hurricanes Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita K10 Job openings Latest News Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Whites Ditch Mardi Gras Pass Media Resources Meetings Events Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife Survey Says Majority of Americans Believe BP Should Pay Maximum Gulf Oil Spill Fines February 6 2015 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in BP Oil Disaster Media Resources 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 Survey Says Majority of Americans Believe BP Should Pay Maximum Gulf Oil Spill Fines 70 percent say oil company should be fined the maximum allowed under the Clean Water Act New Orleans February 6 2015 A new national survey reports that 70 percent of Americans polled nationwide believe BP should be fined the maximum amount allowed under the Clean Water Act for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil spill The third and final phase of the BP oil spill civil trial which will determine how much the oil company will be required to pay in fines concluded this week in New Orleans BP could be ordered to pay up to 13 7 billion in Clean Water Act fines for its role in one of the largest oil disasters in U S history The majority of Americans understand that BP has not yet paid any civil penalties for its reckless discharge of oil into the Gulf nor can it claim credit for clean up costs as if mopping up your mess is the same as fixing the damage it caused As new scientific studies are published we learn more and more about the lasting impacts to many species habitats and industries said David Muth director of National Wildlife Federation s Gulf restoration program Five years later Gulf restoration has not truly begun If BP really wants Americans to believe it is sincere it should pay the fines it owes and fund the restoration the Gulf so badly needs An overwhelming majority of Americans polled in all parts of the country said they believed BP should pay the maximum fines even after hearing BP s claims of what the company has already spent on spill related costs thus far This is according to the results of the independent survey conducted by the polling company inc WomanTrend Americans aren t fooled by BP s misleading advertising campaigns and five years of legal shenanigans to drag out this court case said Douglas Meffert executive director and vice president of Audubon Louisiana BP claims it wants to make it right If that is true the

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/02/06/survey-says-majority-of-americans-believe-bp-should-pay-maximum-gulf-oil-spill-fines/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Conservation Groups React to Restoration Cuts in President’s Budget | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    s Budget February 4 2015 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Media Resources 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 Conservation Groups React to Coastal Restoration Cuts in President s Budget Proposed budget jeopardizes critical wetlands restoration NEW ORLEANS February 4 2015 On Monday President Obama unveiled a 4 trillion proposed budget that would tap more than 3 billion in future oil and gas revenues from Gulf Coast states to pay for other national conservation priorities This shift would divert monies from coastal restoration projects in Louisiana National and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation issued the following statement in response We are encouraged by and committed to the elements of the President s budget that take on climate change support the development of clean energy and fully fund the woefully underfunded Land and Water Conservation Fund and other crucial conservation initiatives But we are disappointed by the budget s proposed diversion of critically needed and currently dedicated funding for coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta This proposed budget undercuts the Administration s previous commitments to restore critical economic infrastructure and ecosystems in the Mississippi River Delta where we are losing 16 square miles of critical wetlands every year a preventable coastal erosion crisis Those wetlands and the culture and economic infrastructure they protect from hurricanes will be lost without complete and ongoing intervention And that intervention currently underway through implementation of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan cannot be successful without sufficient funding We urge Congress to fund the President s

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/02/04/conservation-groups-react-to-coastal-restoration-cuts-in-presidents-budget/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Coalition Responds to Jerome Zeringue’s Resignation from Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Damage Assessment NRDA RESTORE Act Water Resources Development Act WRDA Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Hunting and Fishing Hurricanes Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita K10 Job openings Latest News Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Whites Ditch Mardi Gras Pass Media Resources Meetings Events Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife Coalition Responds to Jerome Zeringue s Resignation from Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority January 26 2015 Posted by lbourg in Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA Coalition Responds to Jerome Zeringue s Resignation from Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chip Kline current deputy director of Governor s Office of Coastal Affairs named successor NEW ORLEANS January 26 2015 Last week Governor Bobby Jindal announced that Chip Kline would replace Jerome Zee Zeringue as chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Kline is currently the deputy director of the Governor s Office of Coastal Activities National and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation issued the following statement in response Louisiana is suffering a coastal erosion crisis and in recent years the state has made strong advancement toward the goals of stopping land loss and rebuilding land along the Mississippi River Delta Zee s leadership was key in keeping the implementation of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan moving forward this past year He has been a tireless advocate and champion for Louisiana and the people who

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/01/26/coalition-responds-to-jerome-zeringues-resignation-from-louisiana-coastal-protection-and-restoration-authority/ (2016-05-01)
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  • NEWS RELEASE: Louisiana Governor Cuts Coastal Funds, Jeopardizing Coast | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Media Resources Meetings Events Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife NEWS RELEASE Louisiana Governor Cuts Coastal Funds Jeopardizing Coast January 22 2015 Posted by lbourg in Economy Media Resources 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 Lauren Bourg National Audubon Society 225 776 9838 lbourg audubon org Jimmy Frederick Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana 225 767 4181 jimmy frederick crcl org Louisiana Governor Cuts Coastal Funds Jeopardizing Coast Budget cuts will impact restoration programs and raises question of how state will pay for Coastal Plan New Orleans January 21 2015 On Wednesday January 21 2015 Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced budget cuts including cuts to Louisiana coastal programs and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Agency CPRA National and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana issued the following statement in response to announced budget cuts In 2012 the Governor and legislature of the State of Louisiana embarked upon a fifty year 50 billion effort to avert a disaster for more than two million of our coastal citizens To date the state has managed to shield the agency leading that effort CPRA from budgetary politics CPRA manages hundreds of millions of dollars in levee and restoration construction projects each year and is run on a small budget entirely supported by mineral revenues nothing from the taxpayer supported general fund Clearly Louisiana is facing a short term budgetary crisis but CPRA is tackling a much more serious long term crisis If we lose the fight against the forces of coastal erosion we lose our homes our coastal towns and cities our jobs and we devastate our local and national economy We are in the very early stages of developing the long term strategies we ll need to fund the plan and we have a long way to go In the meantime cutting CPRA s restoration and protection program support is short sighted and ill advised Louisiana s coastal region is an economic driver for the state and the front lines in protecting our state from storms and the encroaching Gulf of Mexico Today s budget cuts diminish the CPRA s ability to do its job putting communities at risk and slowing down restoration efforts These cuts are an unfortunate attempt to hastily balance a budget while potentially having lasting impacts on our coastal economy and safety of coastal residents As the state begins to implement a fifty year 50 billion coastal master plan now is not the time to be cutting funds from the coastal program On the

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/01/22/news-release-louisiana-governor-cuts-coastal-funds-jeopardizing-coast/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Final Phase of BP Oil Spill Trial to Begin Next Week | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    evancleve edf org Lauren Bourg National Audubon Society 225 776 9838 lbourg audubon org Final Phase of BP Oil Spill Trial to Begin Next Week BP must be held fully accountable for its role in nation s largest oil disaster New Orleans January 15 2015 On Tuesday January 20 2015 the third and final phase of the BP oil spill civil trial will begin in New Orleans This concluding portion of the trial will determine how much BP will be required to pay in Clean Water Act fines for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil disaster National and local conservation organizations committed to Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation issued the following statement in advance of Tuesday s proceedings Nearly five years after the oil disaster the people and wildlife of the Gulf Coast still wait for justice For 87 days BP dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into our Gulf contaminating our marshes and beaches and jeopardizing wildlife ranging from brown pelicans to sperm whales But the oil giant has yet to take full responsibility BP has dragged out litigation in the courts challenging every decision only to have each decision against them confirmed by higher courts Despite claims that it would make it right in the Gulf BP has for the past five years waged a public relations war focused on blaming everyone else and denying sound scientific research showing ongoing impacts from the oil disaster The effects of the oil spill are far from over and may not be fully known for years or even decades to come Now the court has the opportunity and responsibility to make it right to hold BP fully accountable for the damage done to the Gulf and to assign the maximum penalty to BP for its gross negligence The outcome from this decision must send a clear and powerful signal to every other operator in the Gulf deep sea drilling is risky business and they must protect their employees our communities and our ecosystems BP chose not to do that so they deserve to pay the maximum fines allowed by law Through the RESTORE Act of 2012 Congress paved the way for the Gulf s recovery by ensuring that 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines BP will pay will be reinvested into Gulf Coast restoration But that restoration can t begin until this case is resolved and the legal wrangling ends and BP remains the principle barrier to much needed funding going to vital restoration projects Holding BP fully accountable for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster is the fair and right thing to do for the Gulf s ecosystems and economies We are hoping after five long years that justice is close The Gulf has waited long enough Interview Opportunities Interview opportunities are available with experts in science policy wildlife and restoration issues from our national and local conservation organizations

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/01/15/final-phase-of-bp-oil-spill-trial-to-begin-next-week/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Conservation Groups Release Restoration Solutions for Mississippi River Delta | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    audubon org Conservation Groups Release Restoration Solutions for Mississippi River Delta New report recommends a series of science based restoration efforts to benefit coastal Louisiana NEW ORLEANS December 9 2014 Today leading national and local conservation groups released a report outlining 19 priority projects for restoring the Mississippi River Delta following the 2010 Gulf oil disaster Restoring the Mississippi River Delta for People and Wildlife Recommended Projects and Priorities was jointly authored by conservation groups working together on Mississippi River Delta restoration Environmental Defense Fund National Wildlife Federation National Audubon Society Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and describes a suite of restoration projects that would collectively reverse wetlands loss and help protect New Orleans and other coastal communities from storms The project recommendations include sediment diversions freshwater diversions marsh creation barrier island reconstruction ridge restoration shoreline protection and hydrological modifications The proposed project solutions can work in tandem to not only build but also sustain new wetlands along Louisiana s coast The report is aimed at informing a series of decisions that will be ultimately made for funds flowing from the Gulf oil disaster including those to be made by Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Council The federal state Council is tasked with implementing a comprehensive restoration plan to include a list of projects prioritized for their impact on the Gulf ecosystem The Council recently released a list of projects and programs proposed for funding with oil spill penalty money The Mississippi River Delta was ground zero for the Gulf oil disaster said David Muth National Wildlife Federation s director of Gulf restoration These project recommendations if selected and implemented efficiently could begin in earnest the wholesale restoration of one of the most ecologically and economically important areas in the entire country The health of the Mississippi River Delta is a cornerstone for the health of the entire Gulf Coast We have a once in a lifetime chance to get this right and start real restoration along the Gulf Coast said Doug Meffert executive director and vice president of Audubon Louisiana Our recommendations present a full suite of restoration solutions that work in concert providing complementary benefits and sustaining one other We hope the Council will select restoration projects like these which are scientifically shown to provide the maximum benefit to the entire Gulf ecosystem By combining different types of projects in the same geographic area for example sediment diversions marsh creation and barrier island restoration we can build new land quickly and sustain it for the long term said Natalie Peyronnin director of Science Policy for Environmental Defense Fund s Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program This comprehensive approach to restoration is much more effective than using a band aid approach We must get restoration right and get it started now for the communities wildlife and economies of the Gulf The oil spill affected wildlife and ecosystems across the Gulf Coast and we need to make smart decisions about how to use this money

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2014/12/09/news-release-conservation-groups-release-restoration-solutions-for-mississippi-river-delta/ (2016-05-01)
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