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  • Volunteer | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    New Orleans based restaurants and uses that shell to restore oyster reefs and shoreline habitat across coastal Louisiana This is the first program of its kind in Louisiana and it has become the largest shell recycling program in the nation Sign up for these upcoming volunteer projects with CRCL or click here to sign up to receive notifications when new volunteer opportunities arise Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation s success depends on the dedication and talents of thousands of volunteers People often volunteer with LPBF because they feel a personal commitment to protecting and restoring the basin so that all of us can enjoy it Motivated by this valuable feeling of ownership volunteers get involved in a variety of fun interesting events held throughout the year Many of these events are annual including the Beach Sweep Fishing Rodeo and Northshore Let s Make Waves Party LPBF has established a Coastal Crew of volunteers trained at the New Canal Lighthouse They get the inside scoop on what s going on in the basin and help spread the word by manning information tables at fairs and festivals It s a great way to learn about the area we live in and a fun way to talk to the public about what we need to do to enjoy our lake and coast Learn about these and other volunteer opportunities available through LPBF National Audubon Society Audubon Louisiana welcomes volunteers in nearly all of their program areas From helping one of the chapters across the state to performing annual bird surveys to participating in the Coastal Stewardship Program there are many ways to contribute your time Regardless of your age interests or skill level there is a volunteer opportunity that is right for you Through the Bird Conservation Programs volunteers engage

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/volunteer/ (2016-05-01)
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  • How Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita affected the Delta | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Category 3 hurricane on August 29 2005 The second Hurricane Rita came ashore in southwestern Louisiana on September 24 2005 and cut through a sliver of Cameron Parish before plowing its way across eastern Texas Together the two storms resulted in nearly two thousand deaths and an estimated economic toll of 91 billion with 81 billion of the losses coming from Katrina Louisiana bore much of the burden with about 1 300 casualties from Katrina and the subsequent levee failures as well as heavy losses in commercial fishing and other industries Aside from their devastating impact on the lives of millions of Gulf Coast residents the storms damaged the Mississippi River Delta and other fragile ecosystems that lay in their path Weaker Wetlands Stronger Storm Surges Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico Credit GOES 12 Satellite NASA NOAA Coastal Louisiana s land loss directly contributed to the storms human toll In the past extensive healthy wetlands buffered South Louisiana from storm surge but with thinning wetlands oyster reefs and barrier islands the area s communities have lost much of their natural protection These protections have eroded through the years as a result of many factors with one of the biggest contributors to this loss being the river levee systems that shunt river borne sediment and other land building material out into the Gulf of Mexico Severing the connection between the river and its delta has dealt a crippling blow to many of the marshes swamps and natural breakwaters lining the Louisiana coast In the decades between the commencement of massive levee projects in coastal Louisiana and the landfall of Hurricane Katrina nearly 2 000 square miles of deltaic wetlands a necessary but often overlooked part of the region s flood defenses disappeared beneath the water lost because the disconnected

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/discover-the-delta/what-went-wrong/hurricanes-katrina-and-rita/ (2016-05-01)
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  • The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana plants their 10,000th tree in Braithwaite, LA | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    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 The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana plants their 10 000th tree in Braithwaite LA April 26 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Restoration Projects By Brittany Boyke Habitat Restoration Program Coordinator Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Saturday April 2 nd was the culmination of a two year effort to rebuild one of Louisiana s once mighty coastal forests The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana s Habitat Restoration Program in partnership with the Restore the Earth Foundation REF Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation LPBF the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA and 46 volunteers planted the final 1 165 trees in the Caernarvon Diversion Outfall in St Bernard Parish reaching the goal of planting 10 000 trees in the area St Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis commending the success of the 10 000 trees initiative The 10 000 trees initiative began in the fall of 2014 and set out to restore 80 acres of coastal forest that were devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac In all 800 volunteers donated 6 400 hours of their time to help restore this vital natural buffer by planting tree species which included red swamp maple bald cypress blackgum and water tupelo CRCL Habitat Restoration Project Coordinator Brittany Boyke training volunteers to plant saplings The Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion Project Outfall Area is on the border of St Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes just south of New Orleans This once beautiful coastal forest was deforested at the turn of the 20 th century and due to more recent hurricanes and storms major erosion has taken place

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/04/26/the-coalition-to-restore-coastal-louisiana-plants-their-10000th-tree-in-braithwaite-la/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Barrier Island Restoration: An Investment in Coastal LA’s Future and for Nesting Seabirds, Part 3 | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    in Birds BP Oil Disaster coastal restoration Restoration Projects Our partners at Audubon Louisiana published a series of blog posts that we are cross posting here View the original blog post here As we mark the sixth anniversary of the BP oil spill this week an event that significantly and negatively impacted Louisiana s already disappearing barrier islands and the species that depend on them we will examine the status of barrier island restoration Over the coming days we ll publish a series of blog posts that detail what work has been done to restore Louisiana s barrier islands the importance of these islands to birds and humans alike as well as Audubon Louisiana s role before during and after the restoration process to monitor and improve bird health on these islands and elsewhere Part 3 Audubon Louisiana A Steward of Birds through Coastal Restoration By Erik Johnson Director of Bird Conservation Audubon Louisiana AudubonErik Audubon Louisiana is deeply involved in monitoring and improving the health of bird populations across the state Nowhere is this more important than on barrier islands which provide critical habitat for many bird species as we ve detailed in previous blog posts The restoration of larger barrier islands closer to shore like Whiskey Island Scofield Island and many others raises questions regarding the nesting success of seabirds if one follows basic tenets of Island Biogeography Theory An important question that Audubon Louisiana is seeking to understand is how many more fledglings are produced on a given island after restoration compared to before It is possible that overall nesting success could decrease after restoration because a larger restored island might support more predators causing seabirds to be less successful However if there are more seabirds nesting on restored islands might the total number of chicks fledged could still be a net increase What do we do if not Audubon is monitoring beach nesting birds on Grand Isle and the Caminada Headland to answer some of these questions for Least Terns and Wilson s Plovers After protecting certain nesting areas from human disturbance in which volunteers play an important role in preventing we track the nesting success of birds and determine causes of failure such as storm surge and various predators Piping Plovers Elmers Island Louisiana Photo Erik Johnson Audubon Louisiana If restored barrier islands act as refuges and havens for predators and not nesting seabirds what can be done to enhance seabird nesting success The removal of predators can be expensive challenging and unsustainable Electric and other kinds of exclosure fencing might be feasible in certain circumstances but is also relatively expensive and often requires regular maintenance A more sustainable approach might instead be to place greater emphasis on the construction of smaller offshore islands through dredge spoil or beneficial use particularly where land building processes exist such as near diversions and naturally accreting deltas Caminada Headlands Barrier Island Creation The continued deterioration of Caminada headland threatens thousands of acres of wetland habitat as well as

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/04/21/barrier-island-restoration-an-investment-in-coastal-las-future-and-for-nesting-seabirds-part-3/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Rebuilding after the BP Oil Spill | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife Rebuilding after the BP Oil Spill April 20 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in BP Oil Disaster Reports Wildlife By our partner National Wildlife Federation View the original post here Six years ago this week the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded killing 11 men and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months At the time many representatives from the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition were on the ground cataloging the impacts to wildlife and the habitats of the Gulf of Mexico Touring Shell Island West Photo by Jacques Hebert Six years later we are still hard at work Yesterday National Wildlife Federation released a new interactive report that looks at what the most recent science says about the impacts of the disaster and how we can restore the Gulf Some of the impacts described in the report In the first five years after the disaster more than three quarters of pregnant bottlenose dolphins in the oiled areas failed to give birth to a live calf As many as 8 3 billion oysters were lost as a result of the oil spill and response effort The dramatic reduction in oyster populations imperils the sustainability of the oyster fishery in the northern Gulf of Mexico In 2010 the oil spill killed between two and five trillion larval fish The fate of as much as 30 percent of the oil remains unknown to this day Twenty percent of the adult female Kemp s ridley sea turtles may have been killed during the disaster possibly explaining the turtles low nest counts Kemp s ridley sea turtle Photo by National Park Service Today we know more about the devastating impacts of oil than ever before and we also know more about what we can do to restore the Gulf of Mexico As a result of the various legal settlements with BP and the other oil companies more than 16 billion dollars will ultimately be available for environmental restoration We need to make sure that this money is used wisely on projects that benefit the Gulf as a whole Coastal Louisiana and the wetlands around the Mississippi River Delta which were already eroding at an alarming rate pre spill received the brunt of the oil that hit the coast Some marshes and barrier islands still have remnants of BP oil even six years later The money from the settlement means that the very areas that were so badly injured stand a chance to rebound if we use the settlement money to fund comprehensive science based restoration This year on the eve of the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion staff from the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition took a tour of Shell Island West a barrier island restoration project in Louisiana funded by early Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds This project will restore approximately 600 acres of beach dune and marsh habitat It is part of

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/04/20/rebuilding-after-the-bp-oil-spill/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Staff Profiles | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Payson Center for International Development and as the executive director of RiverSphere an initiative to develop a new campus for the university oriented to water resources and renewable energy Prior to those posts Doug was deputy director of the Center for Bioenvironmental Research a joint project of Tulane and Xavier Universities In addition Doug has served as Tulane s representative on a range of coastal research and policy committees including the Framework Development Team for Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan and the Deepwater Horizon Science and Engineering Review Team As a teacher Doug focuses on sustainable development and climate change He has run his own consulting firm specializing in urban park habitat creation for birding and other recreational services coastal adaptation disaster recovery and emergency preparedness He is widely published and is a sought after international speaker Doug received a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard s Graduate School of Design and is a research fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge Mass He holds Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Tulane University and a doctorate in environmental science and engineering from the University of California Los Angeles 1 Comment Meet Morgan Crutcher January 19 2012 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Staff Profiles As the technical and policy assistant at the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana CRCL Morgan provides staff with accurate and reliable scientific technical and policy information for the purpose of establishing CRCL s advocacy positions Her broad range of previous work includes lobbying D C congressional staff for passage of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act for Ducks Unlimited building nutria captivity pens in a flotant marsh for the United States Geological Survey USGS in Louisiana using Geographic Information Systems GIS software to analyze changes in wetland vegetation in relation to Great Lake levels for the USGS Great Lakes Science Center in Michigan interviewing Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA trailer residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a Columbia University study on the health needs of this population fenceline monitoring of an oil refinery in St Bernard Parish for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and much much more She credits her current position at CRCL to two life altering decisions The first was in 2000 when Morgan transferred from the University of Tennessee to Loyola University in New Orleans where she still lives today The second was her decision to take Bob Thomas class on Mississippi River Delta ecology From then on Morgan was forever attuned to all things coastal Louisiana In 2006 she showed up on CRCL s doorstep with a passion for visioning the future of coastal Louisiana and a request for a summer internship They offered her the position and four years later she answered their call for a full time position Along with Communications Director Scott Madere Morgan provides the office with eternal optimism a smiling face and on occasion donuts A third culture kid Morgan has lived in eight different states and passed her senior year of high school in French speaking Belgium She never says no to an opportunity to travel and in addition to visiting many countries across Europe and the Americas for fun she has volunteered in both Africa and Central America For me the common defining element of all the places I ve lived or visited has been water says Morgan How we access it allocate it use it treat it manage its flow across the landscape desire to live next to it as a feature of that landscape and value it as a resource are all important questions when considering settling an area Therefore coastal Louisiana is naturally a fascinating and unique place to me both culturally and physically I am personally and professionally committed to its future Morgan has a bachelor s in environmental studies from Loyola University New Orleans and a master s in natural resource policy from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment SNRE at the University of Michigan A proud wolverine and SNERD she loudly cheered Michigan to victory at the 2012 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and dreams of the day when the Wolverines and Louisiana State University Tigers meet in the Rose Bowl No Comments Meet Elizabeth Skree December 27 2011 Posted by Delta Dispatches in Staff Profiles Liz Skree is the communications manager for the Mississippi River Delta Restoration project at Environmental Defense Fund EDF Working as part of the broader Restore the Mississippi River Delta Campaign Liz manages Delta Dispatches the campaign s blog and e newsletter publication about national and local efforts to restore the Mississippi River Delta Liz also manages EDF s Restoration and Resilience blog social media strategy and web presence She is based in Washington DC Prior to coming to EDF Liz worked as a forest policy intern at American Forests a national nonprofit conservation organization working to protect and restore forests around the world She also interned with the International Programs section of the U S Forest Service working on policy and outreach I ve always loved the outdoors My family is really into camping and when I was a kid I wanted to be a park ranger when I grew up says Liz This interest in the natural world continued in college where my environmental studies classes taught me the many reasons why we need to protect the environment I am thankful to work at an organization like EDF working every day to defend and restore important ecosystems and helping others learn about what we do and how they can get involved Liz holds a B A in Political Science from Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota No Comments Meet Jim Wyerman November 7 2011 Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in People Staff Profiles Jim Wyerman joined the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign in April as Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications for Environmental Defense Fund His role is to provide strategic direction in developing communications plans engaging high influence individuals to support the RESTORE Act

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/people/staff-profiles/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Sediment counter | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    begin to thrive and develop encouraging new sediment to accumulate until new land is formed But by the mid 20th century the US Army Corps of Engineers had installed a series of water control structures along the lower portion of the Mississippi River to prevent it from changing its course thereby protecting the ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans As a result this natural sediment cycle was halted and the sediment that once built land along the coastline was lost into the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico To restore the health and vitality of the Mississippi River Delta not only now but for years to come it is vital that all of the sediment is treated like the precious resource it is and every effort is made to maximize its capture for coastal restoration says Alisha Renfro staff scientist with the National Wildlife Federation The sand and mud carried by Mississippi River and its tributaries is the foundation and the lifeblood of the delta Levees built for flood protection and navigation have almost entirely cut off the river s flow of fresh water mud and sand that once built and helped sustain the wetlands and barrier islands of the delta In addition dams upriver have trapped sediment upriver reducing the total sediment load that winds its way down to Louisiana Despite the reduction in sediment carried by the river the Mississippi is still mighty with nearly 90 million tons of sediment passing the city of Belle Chasse each year The sediment transported by the Mississippi River is comprised of sand and mud By the time the river reaches Louisiana sand makes up roughly 20 to 30 percent of the total sediment load carried by the river while mud makes up the remaining 70 to 80 percent Sediment

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/sediment-counter/ (2016-05-01)
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  • The BP Oil Spill and Coastal Louisiana | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Delta and America s Economy The Delta and Seafood The Delta and Its Communities The Delta in American Life and Culture Wildlife and Natural Resources RELATED SOURCES Related What Went Wrong 100 Years of Mismanagement Leading to Collapse Hurricanes and Wetlands The Long Road to Recovery Wildlife and Wetlands One Year into the Gulf Oil Disaster Oil Birds Too Close for Comfort Restoring the Mississippi River Delta National Survey The Untold Story Disappearing Louisiana Wetlands The BP Oil Spill Disaster The BP oil disaster dumped nearly five million barrels of oil the equivalent of over 200 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico and oiled hundreds of miles of coastline in the five Gulf states with Louisiana s coast and wildlife receiving the greatest percentage of direct ecological damage The disaster s long term effects are still unfolding Damage done to animals and plants will have ripple effects through the food web for years to come Hydrocarbons from the crude oil remain in the Gulf of Mexico habitats and waters and will linger in some places for many years The full consequences of this event will be understood more fully over time but it is already clear that the catastrophe further damaged ecosystems that were already compromised and collapsing especially in the Mississippi River Delta With so many other problems an oil spill of monumental proportions was the last thing the region needed Read more about how the spill affected wildlife Ongoing Response and Recovery Restoring the Gulf Coast means making it better than it was before the spill The ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA process is one mechanism for evaluating damages and determining penalties on BP and other responsible parties Another mechanism is the Clean Water Act under which responsible parties will be fined per barrel of oil

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/discover-the-delta/what-went-wrong/bp-oil-disaster/ (2016-05-01)
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