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  • Adapting to climate change using natural infrastructure | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Climate Community Resiliency Meetings Events By Elizabeth Van Cleve Environmental Defense Fund For half a century the American Water Resources Association AWRA has been bringing together water resources professionals for information exchange professional development and education Hosting numerous conferences per year AWRA recently hosted its Annual Water Resources Conference earlier this month in Washington DC More than 1 300 people attended the conference to hear presentations on the latest water resources topics and network with fellow professionals The conference was also special as it was in celebration of AWRA s 50th anniversary As part of this year s annual conference Shannon Cunniff deputy director for Environmental Defense Fund s water program organized the panel Adapting to Climate Change Using Natural Infrastructure and then participated as both a presenter and moderator Joining Shannon were fellow panelists Todd S Bridges senior research scientist for environmental science at the U S Army Engineer Research and Development Center and Sara Murdock climate change program manager at The Nature Conservancy The panelists presented on ways to incorporate natural and nature based infrastructure into design plans in order to reduce flooding and other risks associated with climate change In places like the Mississippi River Delta natural infrastructure which includes green infrastructure such as wetlands and barrier islands is critical to protecting cities like New Orleans communities and infrastructure And as climate change continues coastal areas like southeastern Louisiana will be at the forefront of climate adaptation and resilience Incorporating green infrastructure with traditional gray infrastructure such as floodwalls and levees will both protect cities and people as well as increase the effectiveness of this existing flood protection infrastructure The Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy incorporates both natural and traditional infrastructure to protect communities against storm surge flooding Source Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Environmental Defense Fund has been working on wetlands restoration in the Mississippi River Delta for 40 years Lessons learned there can be used to help other coastal and deltaic areas become more resilient in the face of climate change As part of that initiative EDF is working on innovative approaches to scale up natural and nature based climate adaptation and resilience solutions EDF approaches resiliency as building the capacity of individuals communities institutions businesses and systems to survive adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience said Shannon to a room of more than 50 conference attendees We seek efficient and creative solutions that provide social economic and environmental benefits lower risks from climate change and improve access to traditional as well as innovative sources of funding for implementation EDF believes we can meet risk reduction needs in ways that improve not harm ecosystems Cunniff continued We believe we can improve economic and social resiliency by building and conserving protective landscapes or natural and nature based infrastructure Perhaps the best indication of attendees interest in the enhancing use of natural infrastructure was their lively dialogue with the panelists about the opportunities and needs to incorporate green and

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2014/11/13/adapting-to-climate-change-using-natural-infrastructure/ (2016-05-01)
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  • What can the 1927 flood teach us about coastal restoration? | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Sound Nearly 90 years later scientists have completed measurements in the upper Breton Sound basin to quantify the sediment deposition in the 50 square mile crevasse splay created by the levee break In the study Sediment Deposition at the Caernarvon Crevasse during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Implications for Coastal Restoration John W Day et al state that The 1927 crevasse deposition shows how pulsed flooding can enhance sediment capture efficiency and deposition and serves as an example for large planned diversions for Mississippi delta restoration Figure 2 The Breton Sound Estuary Dots indicate where core samples were taken and the approximate area of the crevasse splay deposit based on researchers measurements Blue dots indicate cores that had additional analysis carried out Upper right inset aerial photo showing Mississippi River flowing through the 1927 Caernarvon levee breach Dark black line at the site of the crevasse is the estimated width of the levee breach John W Day et al Researchers found a distinct layer of sediment from the 1927 crevasse ranging from 0 8 16 5 inches thick at 23 of the sites they sampled with the thickest layer closest to the river The investigators estimated that more than 40 million tons of sediment flowed from the Mississippi River into Breton Sound during the 108 days the crevasse was open The marshes in the splay captured approximately 55 75 percent of the suspended sediments that poured through the crevasse which resulted in the deposition of roughly 30 million tons of sediment within the 50 square mile crevasse splay In one core the sediment deposition rate in 1927 was at least 0 8 inches per month that s 10 times more than the annual post 1927 average The results of this study could have important implications for future coastal restoration projects specifically sediment diversions Lessons learned for restoration The flood of 1927 was an unprecedented fatal flood that caused massive and widespread economic and structural damages Louisiana as well as all the other communities along the Mississippi River are now largely protected by a federal system of levees and spillways as evidenced during this year s winter flood But the 1927 flood also provided a major land building opportunity as wetlands help provide protection from future flooding and loss of life Large episodic flood events like the 1927 flood and this winter s high water event can be used to build vast land in relatively short periods of time while balancing the needs of the ecosystem and the people and wildlife that depend on it The state of Louisiana is currently working to engineer and design controlled river diversions which would harness the power of the river to build land This past fall the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority voted to advance the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversions Controlled sediment diversions like these are vital components of any large scale restoration plans Possible effects on fisheries Despite their land building potential there currently exist some questions and concerns

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/02/02/what-can-the-1927-flood-teach-us-about-coastal-restoration/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Louisiana Wins! | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Plan Coastal Master Plan series Army Corps of Engineers Birds BP Oil Disaster 5 Years Later Two Years Later Climate Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Community Resiliency Congress Senator David Vitter Senator Mary Landrieu Economics Job Creation Wildlife tourism Economy Federal Policy Clean Water Act Natural Resource 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 Louisiana Wins October 21 2015 Posted by lbourg in BP Oil Disaster Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Restore the Coast Louisiana Wins With a flurry of last minute discussions among members of our campaign America s Wetland Foundation the LA 1 Coalition and the CPRA Board we were able to come to an agreement that replaced the original draft resolution that would have diverted coastal restoration money to LA 1 with a resolution directing CPRA staff to develop a prioritization process for coastal infrastructure projects that could spend up to 10 of available funds under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act GOMESA GOMESA has already authorized such spending up to 10 and this is an appropriate use of those dollars In other words working together we found a solution that protects coastal funding and appropriately addresses coastal infrastructure needs including LA 1 That would not

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2015/10/21/louisiana-wins/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Old Christmas Tree, New Marsh Habitat | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    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 Old Christmas Tree New Marsh Habitat April 15 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Videos By Samantha Carter Senior Outreach Coordinator Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Did you drop your old Christmas tree on the curb in New Orleans on January 7 th to 9 th If so you re helping to save the coast The New Orleans Christmas Tree Recycling Program collects those old Christmas trees and strategically drops bundles of them into the wetlands in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge These trees create wave breaks and trap sediment producing new marsh habitat that supports growth of native grasses Over the years the program has replenished approximately 175 acres of wetlands in Bayou Sauvage Blackhawk helicopter picks up a bundle of Christmas trees Transporting the bundle to the drop site in Bayou Sauvage U S Fish and Wildlife Service helps position the trees A completed row of Christmas tree bundles that will act as a wave break and create new marshlands The program also acts as a training exercise for the Louisiana National Guard who uses UH 60 Blackhawk helicopters to pick up the tree bundles and place them into a grid in the marsh Building protective marsh barriers out of recycled Christmas trees with US Fish Wildlife and the

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/04/15/old-christmas-tree-new-marsh-habitat/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Plaquemines Parish Voices of Restoration: Wine for the Wetlands 2016 | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    s Woodland Plantation just north of West Pointe a la Hache A recent storm had raised the Mississippi River to nearly 15 feet and the river was swollen as it rushed past the levee behind Creppel s More than water flowed though Sediment sands silts muds and clays which built the Louisiana delta flooded past the plantation as well As attendees gathered more than 10 000 tons of sediment raced by them on its way to the Gulf Much of this sediment would eventually flow off the continental shelf and the sediment starved wetlands around Creppel s would continue to erode Richie Blink Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition Plaquemines Parish Community Outreach Coordinator This fact was not lost on Albertine Kimble Plaquemines Parish native and former Coastal Program Manager who spoke about the river s ability to rebuild land and the parish s urgent need to harness that power As manager of the parish s Coastal Program Kimble selected restoration projects and guided them through completion As much as any coastal expert in Louisiana she knows that the river can rebuild land that Plaquemines has lost and sustain existing wetlands Sediment diversions are a key method for using the Mississippi as a tool for restoration Diversions redirect sediment from the river to the wetlands outside the levees allowing the river to nourish the delta it built centuries ago As Kimble noted the sediment laden river rushing by this is how Plaquemines was built and this is how it can be sustained Richie Blink discussing land loss effects on fisheries with local sportsmen As the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan notes no single project type tool or strategy will restore and protect Louisiana s coast Sandy Sanders Executive Director of the Plaquemines Port advocated another type of project that will rebuild the wetlands and buffer Plaquemines from the Gulf s waters Dredging sediment from the bottom of the river is necessary for keeping the river navigable Instead of dumping that sediment into the Gulf Sanders noted we should be using that land to rebuild marshes outside of the levee system Leaning on his experience in the Plaquemines business community Sanders discussed how coastal restoration projects are both environmentally and economically critical for coastal Louisiana and the nation Restoring the Louisiana coast increases the resiliency of refineries and ports in Plaquemines which are an economic boon to the local national and global economies As Sanders mentioned gas prices jumped after Hurricane Katrina Refineries and ports across South Louisiana had sustained damage and the nation felt those effects Coastal restoration ties environmental needs to economic benefits and using dredged material from the Mississippi River advances both of these goals Sandy Sanders Executive Director of the Plaquemines Port speaking at Wine for the Wetlands While constructing these restoration projects is the first step managing them correctly will be critical Earl Armstrong a Plaquemines Parish landowner and long time resident spoke to the audience about adaptive management drawing on his experience fighting for the West

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/04/07/plaquemines-parish-voices-of-restoration-wine-for-the-wetlands-2016/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Hottest Jobs in South Louisiana: Saving the Coast | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    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 Hottest Jobs in South Louisiana Saving the Coast March 16 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Economics Economy Job Creation Reports Looking for the industry with the fastest growth and some of the best paying jobs in coastal Louisiana Saving Louisiana s vanishing coastline is now the fastest growing industry along Louisiana s coast driving economic expansion and eclipsing the oil and gas sector in creating new jobs Coastal restoration and protection is not only the biggest jobs creator in coastal Louisiana it has some of the highest paying jobs averaging 69 277 per year This hot job market is expected to get even hotter as hundreds of millions of dollars from the Gulf oil disaster funds solely dedicated to restoring and preserving the coast flow into the state over the next 16 years These findings and more can be found in a new economic analysis by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition based on methodology by The Data Center By the numbers Southeast Louisiana Jobs in water management which includes coastal restoration coastal protection and urban water management have exploded in recent years totaling more than 32 000 jobs in southeast Louisiana alone By comparison oil and gas provides 26 000 jobs to the region As Louisiana emerged from the depths of the recession in 2010 the growth in the water management industry demonstrates that this sector will be a critical driver of prosperity for the state s future Coastal restoration has created more than 5 700 new jobs in the region since 2010 and is expected to continue to grow Southwest Louisiana Though oil and gas remains the largest economic driver in southwest Louisiana coastal restoration has seen a significantly higher net gain of jobs since 2010 and is now the second largest economic driver in the region The coastal restoration and protection industry has remained stable in southwest Louisiana at 12 000 jobs since 2014 while oil and gas suffered a net loss of approximately 3 000 jobs between 2014 and 2015 Jobs in water management have experienced a net gain of 3 784 jobs since 2010 in southwest Louisiana What s driving this hot job market This industry is growing because of an urgency to restore and protect the wetlands that are Louisiana s first line of defense against rising seas and storms combined with the hundreds of millions of dollars from the BP oil spill settlement and pollution penalties money dedicated to coastal restoration as well as Gulf

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/03/16/hottest-jobs-in-south-louisiana-saving-the-coast/ (2016-05-01)
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  • MRD Staff Bag 10 Tons of Oyster Shells with CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    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 MRD Staff Bag 10 Tons of Oyster Shell with CRCL s Oyster Shell Recycling Program March 28 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Restoration Projects By Deborah Abibou Restoration Programs Director Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana On March 4 th 20 Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition staff members rolled up their sleeves and volunteered for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana s Oyster Shell Recycling Program In doing so they accomplished three of their favorite things taking action to restore the coast spending time breathing in the fresh coastal air and hanging out with other folks who share a passion for Louisiana s coast MRD Staffers volunteer with CRCL s Oyster Shell Recycling Program CRCL s Oyster Shell Recycling Program has just been awarded the 2016 Conservation Achievement Award from Louisiana Wildlife Federation This award recognizes CRCL s efforts to return harvested oyster shell to Louisiana s waters for coastal restoration projects Since its inception in June 2014 the program has become the largest of its kind in the nation In Buras a small town located along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish staff witnessed the piles and piles of oyster shell that CRCL has collected from 26 partner restaurants Thanks to a generous 1 million grant from Shell the program has been able to collect more than 1 750 tons of shell Jessie Ritter National Wildlife Federation Jacques Hebert National Audubon Society Jackson Rollings CRCL CRCL s Restore the Mississippi River Delta partners bagged an incredible 10 tons of oyster shell These bags will be stacked into wire construction baskets which will be the building blocks of CRCL s first shoreline protection project to be placed in Louisiana s Biloxi Marsh This half mile structure will provide a hard substrate to jumpstart the formation of a living oyster reef The main purpose of CRCL s oyster reef project is to prevent the marsh from eroding by creating a wave break and allowing land to build up behind it This will help us hold onto one more piece of our coast Oyster reefs are like the Swiss army knife of coastal restoration they filter water provide habitat for fish and other wildlife contribute spat to oyster leases and act as wave breaks For more information about the program and to sign up to volunteer visit CRCL org Check out some more pictures from the MRD staff volunteer day Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition staff atop pallets of oyster bags These will be put into baskets and placed in

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/03/28/mrd-staff-bag-10-tons-of-oyster-shells-with-crcls-oyster-shell-recycling-program/ (2016-05-01)
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