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  • 5 Years Later | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    for another two months I listened and watched as a man described through a quiet voice and uncontrolled tears how he had always looked to the waters of the Gulf and drawn confidence knowing he could always provide for his family by accepting its gifts But now all he could feel was fundamental fear Money can t replace that kind of loss any more than it can bring back the 11 loved ones who lost their lives in the accident But we must do what we can and in that context the BP settlement is a tremendous step forward because we can restore the Mississippi River Delta so it can protect this area in the future Details matter of course and details remain to be decided as the Agreement in Principle is turned into a consent decree We need to remain involved and vigilant But it does seem clear that this agreement combines avoiding years of litigation with levels of funding that can truly make a difference With these resources we can go to work to make sure that the largest environmental settlement in our nation s history also becomes the most meaningful settlement in a place that well I love No Comments NOAA Study Confirms BP Oil Spill Led to Dolphin Deaths in Northern Gulf of Mexico May 20 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later BP Oil Disaster Media Resources NOAA Reports Science 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 NOAA Study Confirms BP Oil Spill Led to Dolphin Deaths in Northern Gulf of Mexico Leading Conservation Groups Call on BP to Accept Responsibility for Continued Environmental Damage New Orleans LA May 20 2015 Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA released a peer reviewed study confirming that the 2010 Gulf oil disaster contributed to an increase in dolphin deaths in the northern Gulf of Mexico Examining dolphins including those in Barataria Bay La an area hit particularly hard with heavy oil in 2010 scientists found that contaminants from petroleum in BP oil caused lung and adrenal lesions that led to death in these dolphins In response national and local conservation groups working on Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast restoration including Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation issued the following statement BP has spent millions of dollars trying to dodge responsibility and convince the American public that wildlife and habitat in the Gulf were minimally impacted by its hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled in 2010 Just two months ago BP marked the fifth anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster by releasing a report claiming the Gulf had largely recovered from the spill Despite BP s best claims this new NOAA study definitively links the increased dolphin deaths in Barataria Bay with the 2010 Gulf oil disaster and is yet another example of the extensive and destructive impact that BP s oil unleashed on the people wildlife and environment of the Gulf Additional scientific research conducted through the Natural Resource Damage Assessment indicates that dolphins a top predator are experiencing impacts from BP s oil and are still dying at higher than normal rates due to oil exposure in the Gulf ecosystem Last fall BP was found to be grossly negligent for its actions in the Gulf oil disaster This study is a stark reminder that the oil is still in the Gulf it s still causing sickness and death in some species and it s still affecting the entire ecosystem It s time for BP to stop denying the true impacts of the spill and accept responsibility for its actions so that meaningful restoration can proceed 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 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 1 000 000 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 A recent survey found that 70 percent of Americans believe BP should pay maximum fines under the Clean Water Act for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil spill No Comments Following the oil spill new science and research efforts develop in the Gulf of Mexico May 5 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later BP Oil Disaster Restoration Projects RESTORE Act Science By Estelle Robichaux Restoration Project Analyst Environmental Defense Fund This is the final post in a series about Gulf oil spill early coastal restoration funding and projects Be sure to check out parts one two and three In addition to environmental restoration projects and programs four different science programs have been created through oil spill related funding streams See the info boxes for details on each program Because these programs began developing around the same time and around the same general topics the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem restoration and oil and gas production there is often a lot of confusion about what these programs do and how they are different We are here to help How are the areas of focus in each of these science programs different There are three broad areas of focus that all of these programs collectively address Ecosystems the environment The human element Offshore oil development the environment However there are key distinctions between each program and how they address these broader topics Ecosystems the environment Based on the statutory language in the RESTORE Act the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA science program covers all marine and estuarine ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico The Centers of Excellence CoE programs are more narrowly focused on coastal and deltaic systems Both of these programs also include fisheries with CoE programs being limited to coastal fisheries but also covering coastal wildlife The National Academy of Sciences NAS program broadly addresses protection of environmental resources while the Gulf of Mexico Research I nitiative GoMRI does not have a directive to concentrate on specific ecosystems or species GoMRI does however have an explicit focus on ecosystem recovery The CoE programs can emphasize ecosystem restoration and sustainability and NAS has interpreted language in the settlement agreements to include restoration of the environment and ecosystem services under their program as well The NOAA program is supposed to support ecosystem sustainability and restoration to the maximum extent practicable There is a focus on ecosystem management in the current science plan but this program is not specifically designed around restoration science The human element The BP oil disaster also has had a great impact on human communities Both the NAS program and GoMRI are investigating human and public health issues that have developed in the wake of the spill This includes socioeconomic research as well as behavioral mental and social well being CoE programs can address economic and commercial development in the Gulf region with a focus on sustainable and resilient growth Offshore oil development the environment Throughout the Gulf Coast and particularly in Louisiana the oil and gas industry is an important economic driver and employer But offshore oil and gas production needs to be done responsibly for both the people and environment of the Gulf Safe and sustainable offshore energy development is something on which CoEs can focus The NAS program is will be addressing oil system safety and GoMRI will be developing technology related to oil spill response and remediation GoMRI s primary focus is on the impacts of oil and dispersants on Gulf ecosystems and organisms as well as the physical and chemical questions surrounding oil and dispersants such as where did the oil go and how has the oil and dispersants been degrading Are all of these programs investing the same kinds of science As with the areas of focus there is a lot of overlap in the types of science activities that these programs are targeting but there are a few important differences The obvious commonality among all four programs is research which is not surprising as they are all science focused endeavors GoMRI CoEs and the NAS program also all have some focus on technology and development This means that some of the science and research that these programs fund will be targeted towards developing new technologies products or procedures The NOAA and NAS programs as well as CoEs will invest in monitoring As discussed in this previous blog post the BP oil spill highlighted the lack of coordinated comprehensive monitoring throughout the Gulf region These programs will fund research into what monitoring does exist throughout the Gulf and explore options and opportunities for implementing monitoring programs Even among the distinguishing types of activities these programs will pursue there are areas of convergence The NAS program has a mandate to focus on education training CoEs on mapping the Gulf of Mexico and the NOAA program on data collection and fisheries pilot programs However training and pilot programs may find overlap with development initiatives Similarly data collection and mapping are both important activities strongly related to monitoring With so many intersections between and among programs it is essential that these programs communicate with one another What s missing With everything these four science programs are doing it may be hard to believe that anything is lacking But there are two very important things missing from these collective efforts One is formal coordination among programs Over the last few years as these programs have begun developing there has been copious discussion about not duplicating efforts among programs However there has been little conversation about devising specific formal coordination mechanisms to make sure that such duplication does not happen Development and implementation of formal coordination mechanisms would also allow programs to take advantage of overlap by providing points of discussion for complementary or parallel endeavors particularly those that might span ecosystem boundaries or involve large scale research or monitoring The second missing piece is a means for integrating findings into restoration activities like those discussed here Although this will require work beyond the four programs examined here these science programs should make every effort to ensure that results from their funded research and activities are publicly accessible and readily communicated to decision makers These science programs may not be constructing restoration projects but the results from their research and other activities may have important implications for restoration efforts now and in the future 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 A tradition worth building Collectively sustaining and stewarding our coast April 29 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later BP Oil Disaster Community Resiliency People Voices of the Delta By Maura Wood Partnership Manager National Wildlife Federation On April 20 several members of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta campaign gathered with community members in Davant Louisiana to commemorate the 5 th anniversary since the BP oil spill with testimony and discussion about how the terrible oil unleashed on that day is still affecting us all Those gathered included representatives from NGOs fishermen residents of coastal communities business leaders employees of restoration agencies and others While there is widespread agreement that restoring our coast is a priority and that BP should pay to repair the damage it created we sometimes disagree on how best to achieve these goals Our collective situation is urgent Unfortunately our differences sometimes prevent us from making rapid progress When we let ourselves become attached to one idea or one way of doing things we may begin to see those with different ideas as one dimensional opponents making it less likely we ll be able to solve our land loss crisis To avoid this outcome I and my colleagues make contact with a variety of people concerned about restoration in as many ways and as often as possible The invitation to the workshop for Plaquemines Parish Fishermen and Fishing Communities five years after the BP oil disaster was a welcome opportunity to learn more from the first hand experiences of others The panels and discussions dealt with how BP had settled or not with fishermen the damage left behind from the oil and the dispersant and how the citizens of lower Plaquemines Parish were coping or not with the environmental financial and cultural losses forced upon them by the oil spill Testimony from fishermen shrimpers and oystermen clearly spelled out some of the obstacles they still face Prior to the spill many had served as deckhands on oyster boats or as small operators selling sack oysters from the public seed grounds For some troubles began even earlier with Hurricane Katrina Following the oil spill producing the necessary proof of loss of income was difficult for many of these fishermen resulting in their receiving little to no compensation from BP Other participants expressed concerns about the long term effects of dispersants sprayed during the oil spill the failure of oysters to recover on the east side of the river and how the oil spill was still unravelling the economic fabric of the lower parish The marina they said the heart of the community is now silent and without business Before Katrina and the spill this was a center for exchange within the community Families gathered here after school Young men earned spending money by unloading oysters Trucks came in and out loading and shipping seafood Without this center people feel the heart of their community is gone What is the price of a tradition one woman asked The participants in this workshop provided a glimpse into the real struggles they face in trying to recover from the impact of the BP oil spill Sharing individual stories helps us view each other as real people with good intentions seeking to make it right When we see each other as people with unique stories and valuable perspectives we can better empathize with and address each other s concerns about the uncertainties of coastal restoration The reward A new tradition of people from different walks of life working towards the same goal collectively sustaining and stewarding our coast and coastal communities for all Louisianans That is a tradition worth building No Comments BP s claims of Gulf recovery are a mockery Commentary April 22 2015 Posted by lbourg in 5 Years Later BP Oil Disaster Commentary by David Yarnold President National Audubon Society Tribune News Service April 22 2015 Just in time for the fifth anniversary of the worst oil spill in U S maritime history BP has declared all s well on the Gulf Coast The oil has been mopped up and there s been no lasting damage to birds wildlife or fish Really At the same time that BP was releasing its five years later report BP contractors were trying to clean up 25 000 pounds of oiled sand from a massive tar mat that slimed one of the fragile barrier islands south of New Orleans Toxicology experts at Louisiana State University confirmed it was the same oil that spewed from the April 20 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout that killed 11 men Here s what BP doesn t want you to know Its crews had been on the scene of that massive cleanup for the three weeks leading up to the release of that report

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/bp-oil-disaster/5-years-later/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Two Years Later | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    in the most heavily oiled areas suggests possible ecosystem wide effects of the oil Dolphins can inhale oil vapors ingest oil when feeding absorb it through their skin or eat contaminated fish Scientists with NOAA are continuing to investigate the factors that may be contributing to the dolphin mortalities No Comments Two Years Later Shoreline Impacts April 18 2012 Posted by Lacey McCormick in BP Oil Disaster NOAA Two Years Later Two years after the start of the oil spill a significant stretch of the Gulf Coast remains affected A recent article in National Geographic quotes Jacqueline Michel the U S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA coordinator for the Shoreline Clean up Assessment Program saying The current oiling where you still see anything on the shoreline is around 450 miles as of February 25 The affected areas stretch from Louisiana to Florida An earlier NOAA report documented a total of 1 050 total linear miles of oiled shoreline in the period after the spill In April 2011 one year after the spill began mostly light oil or tar balls persisted on more than 500 linear miles of shoreline Extrapolating from these two data points both from NOAA it appears that only an additional 50 or so miles have been cleaned in the past year Share this photo on Facebook Share this image on Twitter No Comments Two Years Later Day 2 April 17 2012 Posted by Ryan Rastegar in BP Oil Disaster Two Years Later From April 20th 2010 through April 5th 2011 some 1 149 sea turtles washed up along the gulf coast Of the dead turtles an overwhelming majority were Kemp s ridley sea turtles the most endangered sea turtle species in the world which nests only in the Gulf of Mexico Last month alone 40 more dead sea turtles were found on the shores of Mississippi proving that two years later the worst effects of the BP oil spill are far from over Check out our Facebook page to share this with your friends Click this link to tweet this photo to your followers No Comments Two Years Later Day 1 April 16 2012 Posted by Ryan Rastegar in BP Oil Disaster Latest News Two Years Later Welcome to the first day of Two Years Later We re kicking off the week with a video from our partners at Environmental Defense Fund showing some of the awful destruction that took place as a result of the 2010 BP oil spill After all that can you believe that two years later the gulf coast STILL has not received any money from the Clean Water Act penalties Check out our Facebook page to share this with your friends Click this link to tweet this video to your followers 2 Comments Two Years Later Posted by Ryan Rastegar in BP Oil Disaster Latest News Two Years Later This week marks the two year anniversary of the BP oil spill Do you remember where you were on April 20 th

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/bp-oil-disaster/two-years-later/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Climate | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    made a wrong turn somewhere along the way Last winter Louisiana CBC volunteers found a total 254 species of birds including amazing vagrants like Lucy s Warbler Ferrugineous Hawk and Brown Boobies What unusual birds will be found this winter Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun nationwide citizen science project which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles At least ten volunteers including a compiler to coordinate the process count in each circle The volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes counting every bird they see In most count circles some people also watch feeders instead of following routes Want to get involved To find a count near you visit christmasbirdcount org Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon s free Bird Guide app makes it even easier to chip in There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report American Birds is available online No Comments Boil for the Bayou August 8 2015 Posted by lbourg in Climate coastal restoration Community Resiliency People By Matthew Phillips Mississippi River Delta Coalition On August 1 st the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign hosted Boil for the Bayou a coastal restoration expo at Bayou Barriere Golf Course in Belle Chasse Louisiana Our inimitable Plaquemines Parish Outreach Coordinator Philip Russo planned and coordinated the event for months An attendee speaks with members of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign about the economic importance of coastal restoration In a state with the highest rate of land loss in the contiguous U S Plaquemines Parish stands out Louisiana has lost 25 of its coastal wetlands and Plaquemines has lost the most coastal land of any parish Wetlands are an economic driver for Plaquemines commercial fisheries depend heavily on healthy wetlands and sportsmen and women depend on the land for recreational hunting and fishing which bring tourists to the parish The wetlands also buffer communities in Plaquemines some of the most vulnerable in the state against flooding from major storms and sea level rise With so much at stake the state has invested heavily in restoring Plaquemines coastal land More coastal restoration projects are planned for Plaquemines than any other parish With the commitment of parish residents and elected officials to a restored coastline Plaquemines can push for more extensive coastal restoration projects from the state Boil for the Bayou was a rare opportunity for parish residents to meet and share ideas with local organizations government officials and businesses working to restore the coast With over 300 pounds of boiled shrimp and jambalaya courtesy of Salvo s Seafood we invited residents to learn about what they are losing how it is being restored and what they can do Brooke Randolph Office Manager at the Campaign serves boiled shrimp to guests Attendees entered the Bayou Barriere clubhouse to the

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/climate/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    be aggressive and large scale We believe that restoration of the Mississippi delta will require diversions similar in scale to historical crevasses if they are to be most effective How was the research conducted The scientists collected 23 sediment cores that extended down 1 meter throughout the 50 square mile crevasse outfall area The core sediments were analyzed for sediment type properties and age Deposition of sediment from the crevasse extended over seven miles from the break in the levee The 1927 sediment deposits were found at an average depth of 13 8 inches below the marsh surface suggesting a post 1927 deposition rate of 0 2 inches per year Deposition rates ranged from 0 2 to 4 6 inches per month over the 3 6 months that the crevasse was open The estimated sediment load entering through the crevasse from the river during the 1927 event was 40 to 54 million tons and roughly 30 million tons of that sediment was deposited and retained within the 50 square mile crevasse splay Based on the varying thickness of the 1927 deposit over the splay the volume of the 1927 deposit could cover 11 5 square miles with about 3 feet of sediment The lessons learned from researching previous high water events can help planners design the best most effective restoration solutions to help rebuild wetlands vital to our future No Comments Mississippi River s High Water Brings Literally Tons of Needed Sediment to Louisiana January 20 2016 Posted by jhebert in 2011 Mississippi River Flood Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Science By Alisha Renfro Staff Scientist Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition National Wildlife Federation This is the second in a series of blog posts focusing on the recent opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway in response to the Mississippi River high water event See the first post on the history of the Mississippi River and Tributaries MR T system here The current high water event on the Mississippi River is sending more than one million cubic feet of water per second down the lower Mississippi River carrying with it sediment that is an essential ingredient to restoring Louisiana s wetlands The unfortunate irony is that a great deal of this sediment is passing right through Louisiana and off the outer continental shelf beyond where it can be of any immediate restorative benefit to the state s vanishing wetlands Historically flood events like this helped to build and maintain the once vast wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta Today without sediment diversion projects in place much of that turbid brown water completely bypasses our sediment starved wetlands and is lost Once in place sediment diversions integrated with the flood protection system will capture this opportunity and put the river back to work rebuilding our wetlands On average the Mississippi River carries about 2 5 tons of sediment per second past the Belle Chasse river gage south of New Orleans However during high discharge events sediment load in the river can increase considerably When river discharge reaches one million cubic feet per second roughly 6 5 tons of sediment is carried past the Belle Chasse station every second that s more than double the average Over the last two years an estimated 184 million tons of sediment has passed Belle Chasse Some of this sediment is deposited in the river channel in wetlands and in shallow water around the Bird s Foot Delta However most of this sediment is lost to deeper waters off the continental shelf as seen in the above MODIS satellite image As Louisiana s land loss crisis has worsened the need to capture and use this sediment is greater than ever But while our sediment counter continues to tick away some progress has been made Since 2012 projects in the vicinity of Lake Hermitage Bayou Dupont and Grand Liard have used sediment dredged from the river to create land Even more significant last October the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority recommended the advancement of two sediment diversion projects at Mid Barataria and Mid Breton into engineering and design Together marsh creation and sediment diversion projects will better leverage the precious resource that is constantly flowing through our state to help restore Louisiana s coast Hopefully the next time we have a high water event like this one we ll have sediment diversions in place to make the most out of the situation to both reduce potential flooding AND capture sediment for restoration Now that s a win win No Comments Louisiana Releases Draft Annual Plan for Coastal Restoration and Protection January 12 2016 Posted by jhebert in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Diversions Restoration Projects State Legislature 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 Louisiana Releases Draft Annual Plan for Coastal Restoration and Protection Plan Includes CPRA s Recommendations for Two Sediment Diversions BATON ROUGE La January 12 2016 Last week Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA released its draft Fiscal Year 2016 2017 Annual Plan for Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection in Coastal Louisiana This year s Annual Plan expands on last fall s recommendation by CPRA to advance two sediment diversion projects at Mid Barataria and Mid Breton CPRA is required by the state legislature to produce an Annual Plan that reports on the progress of projects as well as project funding schedules and budgets The agency will host a series of three public meetings this week in Lake Charles New Orleans and Thibodaux and is accepting comments on the draft plan 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 The drafting of the Annual Plan is a vital part of the restoration process in Louisiana It gives CPRA the opportunity to take inventory of projects in the Coastal Master Plan project real dollars to continue progress and communicate directly with the public on the status and potential futures of specific projects We are pleased to see the most current and best available science from the Coastal Master Plan process continue to drive prioritization and planning by CPRA As the Annual Plan says the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversions must continue to move forward into engineering and design and eventually implementation Sediment diversions like these provide the best opportunity to restore our coast over time They use the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to help rebuild our collapsing delta the power sediment and water from the Mississippi River itself Our disappearing land can only survive if we allow the river that built it to rebuild and sustain it Ensuring these diversions move forward in an expedited manner should be of utmost importance to us all We look forward to continuing to work alongside CPRA other organizations and residents all along the coast to get diversions up and running 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 Louisiana Governor Elect Appoints New Leader for Coastal Restoration January 5 2016 Posted by jhebert in Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Media Resources 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 Louisiana Governor Elect Appoints New Leader for Coastal Restoration BATON ROUGE La January 5 2016 Today Louisiana Governor Elect John Bel Edwards announced that Johnny Bradberry is his appointee for Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities In this position Bradberry will also serve as the Chairperson of the state s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Bradberry who is a former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development succeeds current Chair Chip Kline who took the position in February 2015 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 This is a critical appointment given the state of our coast and increased funding opportunities to restore it Perhaps no other area of responsibility offers as much hope or peril for our state s future We very much appreciate the dedication commitment and progress of the CPRA leadership to date and look forward to working with Governor elect Edwards choice to continue and expand that leadership We expect Mr Bradberry s long record of private sector and public service to serve the state and the coast well and offer any and all assistance to achieve that result 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 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 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 have happened without a huge outpouring of support for the protection of coastal funding Thanks very much to everyone who voiced support or helped on this in any way It made a huge difference Coupled with CPRA s formal recommendation today

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  • coastal restoration | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Point Barrier Island Restoration Project one of our campaign s priority projects East Grand Terre which we visited last year was first of the four islands restored between late 2010 and early 2014 in this important barrier island chain Two other projects at Chaland Headland and Bay Joe Wise had been completed before the oil spill Now that some of the funds from the oil spill settlements can be spent active restoration of two more barrier islands has begun Both Shell Island West and Chenier Ronquille also part of the Barataria Pass to Sandy Point Barrier Island Restoration Project are being restored with Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Early Restoration funding We expect both of these projects being co implemented by CPRA and NOAA s Habitat Restoration Team will be complete by early 2017 Completion of priority projects Once CPRA receives funding from the RESTORE Council to implement projects on the Council s Funded Priorities List the state will finalize the design and begin construction of one more barrier island in the area West Grand Terre If all goes well this island should be restored by the end of 2018 And with that almost the entire barrier island chain between Barataria Pass and Sandy Point will have been restored We re only getting started The road to recovery for Louisiana communities and ecosystems will be long But in many respects we re well on our way Barrier islands are being restored the 20 8 billion BP settlement has been approved and the RESTORE Council has finalized its first list of funded projects Louisiana already has a plan to restore its coast via the 2012 Coastal Master Plan and because of the BP and Transocean settlements the state will have over 8 billion to spend on coastal restoration over the next 15 years Six years after the spill there is still work to do but we are seeing real progress As Senior Restoration Project Analyst Estelle Robichaux advocates for the implementation of science based restoration projects and programs in coastal Louisiana Estelle leads the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Coalition s project related efforts including science based decision making processes project implementation and related research Estelle s work also focuses on science communication and monitoring the development of scientific and research programs related to coastal Louisiana in the wake of the BP oil disaster No Comments Barrier Island Restoration An Investment in Coastal LA s Future and for Nesting Seabirds Part 2 Posted by Emily McCalla in Birds 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 2 Barrier Islands A Critical Investment for Bird Health By Erik Johnson Director of Bird Conservation Audubon Louisiana AudubonErik As we discussed in the first blog post coastal Louisiana is rich with bird life and barrier islands play a central role in the population dynamics of many species This is particularly true for seabirds that nest on islands isolated from the mainland and its many mammalian predators These seabirds live life on the edge of the Earth and barrier islands are the key to their survival So how does the restoration of barrier islands benefit these nesting seabirds Seabirds like terns and gulls as well as some coastal nesting shorebirds like Wilson s Plovers and American Oystercatchers place their eggs on the ground although a few species like Brown Pelicans prefer low shrubs like mangroves These nesting birds are not only susceptible to mammalian predators but also the overwash of storms As islands and their dune systems erode nests are inevitably placed closer and closer to the high tide line putting them at greater risk to the overwash of even small storms Renesting can be possible but at some point becomes futile And with fewer and fewer islands available eventually space runs out and populations decline The restoration of these islands increases opportunities and space for placing nests and helps elevate nests to reduce their chances of overwashing Royal Terns Breton Island Photo USFWS Greg Thompson There is another important consideration for barrier island restoration for seabirds bigger is not necessarily better Anyone who has taken an introduction to ecology course might recall Island Biogeography Theory It suggests that the bigger the island and the closer it is to shore the more species it can support This sounds great right But those additional species can be and often are predators So for a seabird smaller islands farther from shore are better Predators like coyotes raccoons rats skunks foxes feral cats fire ants and even nutria have a harder time getting to those islands and surviving there This becomes important when thinking about barrier island restoration Although there is a clear need to build large islands that protect interior shorelines and communities this may actually serve as an ecological trap for nesting seabirds Those larger islands can support more predators and while the habitat looks perfectly suitable to a Black Skimmer Least Tern or Sandwich Tern it could also be full of predators ready to eat their eggs and chicks Least Tern Elmers Island Louisiana Photo Erik Johnson Audubon Louisiana As far as we know only the distant Chandeleur Islands and its neighbors are mostly or entirely free of coyotes and probably most other kinds of mammalian predators Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries surveys last spring documented that these islands were full of nesting seabirds although probably not in numbers like during the glory days of Curlew Island which supported tens of thousands of nesting pairs of Sandwich Terns and Royal Terns in the 1970s Clearly the commitment of restoration to Breton Island is tremendously important for the recovery of seabirds in coastal Louisiana as will be the restoration of other nearshore small predator free bay islands like Queen Bess in Barataria Bay In the next blog we ll talk more about how Audubon Louisiana works to protect birds before during and after barrier island restoration projects No Comments Barrier Island Restoration An Investment in Coastal LA s Future and for Nesting Seabirds Part 1 April 18 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in Birds 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 1 Louisiana Barrier Islands A Coastal Restoration Success Story By Erik Johnson Director of Bird Conservation Audubon Louisiana AudubonErik As you look out into the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana s coastline are a string of barrier islands They are remnants of former deltas as the Mississippi River has flipped and flopped across the southeastern part of state over the last 6 000 years marshes were created and eventually eroded away only leaving behind these sand berms where the river and sea once met Today those ancient headland remnants continue to erode but now the river no longer serves to rebuild them Sediment that once flowed down the Mississippi River is now either dammed upstream or falls off the edge of the continental shelf at the mouth of the River Louisiana is in a fight against nature to keep its barrier islands Louisiana s barrier islands were significantly impacted by the 2010 BP oil disaster six years ago next week that enveloped them in oil at the height of nesting season and expedited their rate of disappearance Remember the 4 5 billion dollars BP had to pay in federal criminal penalties The State of Louisiana received 1 2 billion of that to use toward coastal restoration and has dedicated it to the development of river diversions to rebuild marsh as well as the restoration and reconstruction of barrier islands Many hundreds of millions of dollars from other sources like CWPPRA CIAP and NRDA to name a few also support barrier island protection and restoration The continued deterioration of Caminada headland threatens thousands of acres of wetland habitat as well as critical infrastructure The project creates 300 acres of back barrier marsh and nourishes 130 acres of emergent marsh behind the Caminada beach using material dredged from the Gulf of Mexico Photo Patrick M Quigley Gulf Coast Air Photo Since the development of the state s 2007 Master Plan Louisiana has reconstructed over 45 miles of barrier islands and for good reason Barrier islands are an important infrastructure investment in coastal Louisiana They help protect marshes and human communities from storm surges and hurricanes Barrier islands also play a critical role in the life cycle of dozens of migratory shorebirds and breeding seabirds Louisiana at the base of the Mississippi Flyway and with the Mississippi River Delta central to the Gulf of Mexico supports astoundingly high proportions of regional or global populations of many coastal nesting species of conservation concern Many of these species largely depend on barrier islands for nesting including Brown Pelicans Tricolored Herons Sandwich Terns Royal Terns and Black Skimmers Coastal Louisiana s shorelines and barrier islands also support important stopover and wintering habitat for a substantial proportion of Great Plains Piping Plovers hendersoni Short billed Dowitchers and western Willets as well as many other species of sandpiper and plover Black Skimmers in Grand Isle La Photo Erik Johnson Audubon Louisiana Up next we ll get into the specifics of why barrier islands are so important to birds No Comments 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 National Guard today A video posted by Restore the MS River Delta restoredelta on Apr 6 2016 at 12 27pm PDT Louisiana National Guard trains with the Blackhawk Helicopters The Christmas Tree Recycling Program is a simple way to help rebuild your coastal ecosystem Be on the lookout for next year s collection dates As Senior Outreach Coordinator Samantha Carter works to develop and implement outreach and engagement strategies to advance the priorities of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program for the National Wildlife Federation Focusing on the Greater New Orleans area she educates and engages community leaders and other key stakeholders including elected officials and neighborhood associations to address the alarming loss of coastal wetlands in Louisiana Additionally Samantha helps coordinate the MRGO Must Go Coalition a group of 17 environmental community and social justice organizations working to restore the degraded wetland ecosystem that protects the Greater New Orleans area from storm surge No Comments EDF Voices Amid dramatic sea level rise nature itself can provide a much needed solution April 8 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in Climate coastal restoration Community Resiliency By Shannon Cunniff Deputy Director Water Program Environmental Defense Fund Even if we manage to reach our goals for reducing greenhouse gases the world will experience a dramatic sea level rise by 2100 the latest study estimates by as much as six feet With a water level that much higher than it is today major coastal cities such as Boston New York and Miami are sure to be below sea level So the key question now is how do we adapt to climate change effects we can no longer avoid A single solution to rising oceans won t fix the problem but there is a soft option that can help protect our coasts when complemented with other measures Living shorelines have role to play Sea level rise means entire regions not just beachfront towns will have to adapt With coastal areas accounting for 42 percent of America s economic output we must make effective climate change and sea level rise adaptation strategies a priority today Soft options sometimes called living shorelines or natural infrastructure include features such as sand dunes barrier islands and maritime forests They help lessen storm surge and flooding while also providing habitat water filtration and beautiful places we can all enjoy These sand dunes were built to protect homes in Hampton Roads Virginia These and other natural infrastructure measures can be used alone or to complement and enhance hard infrastructure such as levees and floodwalls to create multiple lines of defense But natural infrastructure measures also have a distinct advantage over hardened approaches They can grow Beaches dunes wetlands mangroves and oyster reefs can keep pace with sea level rise and provide critical buffers a first line of defense against waves and floods Coastal communities taking action Communities on every coast are now beginning to think about changes in zoning and building standards to protect themselves from flooding while also investigating how to restore natural defenses Such redundant measures can improve their resiliency and also give them environmental and economic benefits that improve quality of life Seabrook New Hampshire for example has a plan to build and strengthen its dunes and allow them to continue to grow to protect coastal properties Louisiana is also restoring its wetlands cypress swamps and barrier islands as part of its strategy to cope with sea level rise and storm disasters And across Hampton Roads Virginia living shorelines are sprouting up as alternatives to bulkheads to combat erosion and improve Chesapeake Bay water quality Such efforts are taking off in other countries too Communities in across Southeast Asia for example are now replanting mangroves to reduce impacts from tsunamis and storm surges Live with water fight it or retreat Scientists are expecting sea levels to rise faster and higher than previously predicted So the truth is we ll have to soon make choices about where when and how we adapt to live with water defend our coasts and retreat Fortunately restoring coastal ecosystems can fit nicely with these strategies to provide human communities with benefits not only on stormy days but year round View the original post on EDF blog No Comments Plaquemines Parish Voices of Restoration Wine for the Wetlands 2016 April 7 2016 Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration Meetings Events By Matt Phillips Outreach Coordinator Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition On Thursday March 24th the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition hosted its second annual Wine for Wetlands happy hour The event is an important part of our Coalition s work in Plaquemines Parish and provides an opportunity for elected parish officials community leaders and local coastal restoration advocates to celebrate coastal restoration successes and explore strategies for the future Attendees gathered at Foster Creppel 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

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  • Community Resiliency | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    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 about how sediment diversions will affect fisheries The researchers determined that the periodic opening of flood control structures such as the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the 1927 crevasse during high water events demonstrate the balance that can be achieved between inflows of fresh water and fishery concerns The periodic opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the 1927 crevasse at Caernarvon serve as good models for understanding the significance of this fishery concern The periodic openings have minimized algal blooms to short periods and resulted in larger fisheries catches in years following openings the study says Given predictions of accelerated sea level rise increasing human impacts and growing energy scarcity delta restoration should be aggressive and large scale We believe that restoration of the Mississippi delta will require diversions similar in scale to historical crevasses if they are to be most effective How was the research conducted The scientists collected 23 sediment cores that extended down 1 meter throughout the 50 square mile crevasse outfall area The core sediments were analyzed for sediment type properties and age Deposition of sediment from the crevasse extended over seven miles from the break in the levee The 1927 sediment deposits were found at an average depth of 13 8 inches below the marsh surface suggesting a post 1927 deposition rate of 0 2 inches per year Deposition rates ranged from 0 2 to 4 6 inches per month over the 3 6 months that the crevasse was open The estimated sediment load entering through the crevasse from the river during the 1927 event was 40 to 54 million tons and roughly 30 million tons of that sediment was deposited and retained within the 50 square mile crevasse splay Based on the varying thickness of the 1927 deposit over the splay the volume of the 1927 deposit could cover 11 5 square miles with about 3 feet of sediment The lessons learned from researching previous high water events can help planners design the best most effective restoration solutions to help rebuild wetlands vital to our future 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 2015 Brings Momentum for the Louisiana Coast November 25 2015 Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration Community Resiliency Restoration Projects Restore the Coast By Emily Guidry Schatzel Senior Communications Manager Mississippi River Delta Restoration National Wildlife Federation Louisiana s Mississippi River Delta is a region in dire need of comprehensive restoration We all know the harrowing statistic facing coastal Louisiana every hour a football field of land vanishes off the coast According to historical averages Louisiana loses 16 to 25 square miles per year The rest of the Gulf which is in many places still working to rebound economically and ecologically from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster is also in need of projects that will advance real restoration Despite this 2015 was a good year for coastal Louisiana in many ways We have a lot to be thankful for this year 20 8 billion settlement in Gulf oil spill is largest environmental settlement in U S history More than five years after the start of the 2010 oil spill the Justice Department and five Gulf States announced they reached a 20 8 billion settlement with BP We re thankful for the settlement and federal rules like the RESTORE Act of 2012 that ensure most of the money will be used for restoring the Gulf ecosystem While 6 billion of the total settlement will go to economic damages across the Gulf states the remaining more than 14 billion will go to restoring the environment including critically injured coastal fish and wildlife habitat In Louisiana the Coastal Master Plan s suite of land building restoration projects will receive at least 4 billion It s not nearly enough to get the entire list of projects in the master plan done but it s a start backed by real dollars that weren t available prior to the settlement Restore Council s priorities list included four of our priority projects In August the Gulf Coast Restoration Council released their draft Initial Funded Priorities List which proposed to dedicate 139 6 million from the oil spill settlement with Transocean Deepwater Inc to projects and programs that would provide near term benefits to the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem In Louisiana this list proposed funding for four of our nineteen priority projects Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp Golden Triangle Marsh Creation Biloxi Marsh Living Shoreline and West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization Next steps for Louisiana s first sediment diversions announced Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA recommended advancing both the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversion projects in the Coastal Master Plan which will reintroduce fresh water and sediment from the Mississippi River into its surrounding wetlands and rebuild land over time We appreciate this important step toward getting sediment diversions up and running the urgency and severity of our collapsing delta requires that we use the most powerful tools at our disposal Sediment diversions provide the best opportunity to restore the coast over time preserving our communities industries and entire way of life LA 1 Huge win for protecting coastal restoration funding In October Governor Jindal proposed that the CPRA Board redirect money from the Coastal Master Plan to fund the elevation of Louisiana Highway 1 Our Coalition immediately took action by vocally opposing this proposal and launching the Protect the Funding campaign to raise awareness and garner support to safeguard coastal dollars for restoration With a flurry of last minute decisions a better alternative was reached The Board replaced the draft resolution with one 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 We are thankful that funds dedicated for coastal restoration were kept right where they should be not redirected to other projects Polls show voter support for coastal restoration Encouraging news a poll of likely Louisiana voters showed that nearly 94 percent of respondents valued a candidate s commitment to protect and restore coastal Louisiana An overwhelming majority 90 percent said they want the next governor to ensure funds currently dedicated to coastal restoration are not spent on anything but coastal restoration and 87 percent want the next governor to work to identify and secure additional funding for future projects identified in the state s Coastal Master Plan Across the board the poll found tremendous statewide support for coastal restoration 85 percent believe restoration of coastal Louisiana should be a high priority for the new governor 95 percent want the new governor to commit to move quickly and get started building coastal restoration projects 78 percent believe protecting and restoring coastal Louisiana is as important as other issues facing the state 97 percent say Louisiana s coastal areas and wetlands are important to them personally Two thirds 66 percent indicate support for river diversions to build new land in Louisiana Launched Restore the Coast Community Engagement Campaign In August our Coalition launched 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 encouraged Louisiana 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 Our goal was 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 The Restore the Coast campaign included television and radio commercials billboards print ads tabling at local community events as well as interactive street activities to engage the public and encourage social sharing of this important issue facing Louisiana Over the course of the entire Restore the Coast campaign we secured over 13 500 pledges our materials were seen by more than 1 million people online and our videos had more than 335 000 views We are so thankful for our supporters Louisiana s newly elected governor made strong commitments Additionally Governor elect John Bel Edwards recently wrote in response to handling key coastal issues while in office I look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure timely funding of coastal restoration projects We have lost nearly 2000 square miles of coastal land mass over the last 100 years The economic contributions of Louisiana s coast exceed 20 billion per year But much of this is threatened including our fisheries wildlife tourism oil and gas and shipping and navigation industries We must immediately match the scale of the crisis with the response implementing unprecedented coordination and taking three primary actions 1 Create certainty of funding 2 Ensure the funding is spent only on coastal restoration master plan and priority of projects 3 Fully and convincingly making the case to the Congress and the Administration that coastal restoration in Louisiana is a national priority worth of funding tens of billions of dollars The Coastal Restoration Master Plan is a living document which must be constantly revisited through the lens of new and better science A voting public and a new governor showing strong commitments to coastal restoration spending wisely and rebuilding our great Mississippi River Delta are all things to truly be thankful for Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition No Comments Submit Your Coastal Restoration Questions for Louisiana s Next Governor October 29 2015 Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration Community Resiliency Restore the Coast What coastal restoration questions do you have for Louisiana s gubernatorial candidates Now is your chance to ask them The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is a sponsor of the upcoming Louisiana Public Broadcasting LPB gubernatorial debate on November 10 at 7 00 p m Central and we want to hear from you Finding solutions to restore Louisiana s vanishing coast will be high on the list of challenges the next governor will face a recent survey found 85 percent of voters believe restoration of coastal Louisiana should be a high priority for the new governor With that in mind LPB has agreed to consider coastal restoration related questions submitted by you to ask the candidates during the debate Have a coastal restoration question for the candidates Submit it here by Monday November 2 and the moderators just might ask your question And be sure to tune in to LPB on November 10 at 7 00 p m for the debate to see if your question is asked Learn more and take the pledge at RestoreTheCoast org 1 Comment CRCL Leads the Largest One Day Volunteer Restoration Effort to Commemorate Hurricane Rita October 6 2015 Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration Community Resiliency Hurricane Rita By Jimmy Frederick Communications Director Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Ten years ago the beaches of Cameron Parish were under 15 feet of Gulf of Mexico water as Hurricane Rita slammed ashore Rita was the second major hurricane to hit Coastal Louisiana in less than a month in 2005 and was in fact stronger than Hurricane Katrina when it made landfall The storm surge inundated coastal communities as far inland as Lake Charles and left thousands of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed The shoreline of Cameron Parish took a direct hit and was virtually washed away by the fury that was unleashed by Hurricane Rita But 10 years later it s not a story of destruction or devastation it s a story of hope and recovery and that s evident by the fact that so many people gave of their time and effort to continue the recovery of the Cameron Shoreline On Saturday September 26 2015 the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana CRCL led more than 330 volunteers in planting 60 000 plugs of dune grass and repairing two miles of sand fence The dune grass acts like a net both above and below the sand Above the beach the grass catches blowing sand helping to form the dunes Below the sand the roots help hold the sand silt and soil in place to prevent erosion But coastal restoration is more than a one day event As important as this restoration effort was more must be done We are losing our rich productive wetlands and beaches and the protection they provide In Southwest Louisiana the Cameron Shoreline is all that stands between vital coastal communities and the Gulf of Mexico It is the only natural buffer that protects our livelihoods and our culture from hurricanes and other storms Want to get involved To join CRCL for an upcoming restoration project or to become a member visit crcl org You can also 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 Help save our coast The future of our state depends on it No Comments New report quantifies storm reduction benefits of natural infrastructure and nature based measures September 29 2015 Posted by lbourg in 2012 Coastal Master Plan coastal restoration Community Resiliency Restoration Projects Science By Shannon Cunniff Deputy Director for Water Environmental Defense Fund Coastal zones are the most densely populated areas in the world In the U S they generate more than 42 percent of the nation s total economic output These coastal communities cities and infrastructure are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change Rising seas and increased storms as well as ongoing coastal development have stripped these natural environments of their innate resilience to storms and flooding leaving coastlines and the people who live there especially exposed Beach dune Protecting coastal areas requires a multipronged approach Traditional hardened infrastructure such as levees and floodwalls should be combined with natural infrastructure such as dunes and barrier islands to optimize storm protection By attenuating wave energy natural infrastructure measures can enhance the performance of and complement traditional gray infrastructure And in certain situations natural coastal infrastructure measures can reverse coastal erosion help rebuild shorelines and even keep pace with rising sea levels Natural coastal infrastructure measures also provide significant co benefits to communities In addition to reducing the effects of storm waves and surge these wetlands and other plant based means also improve water quality enhance recreational and commercial fisheries add to the coastal esthetic and attract tourists Their installation or restoration can also buy time for communities as they develop long term strategic plans to

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  • Congress | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    five Gulf Coast states and four federal agencies who are charged with assessing damage to natural resources such as marshes sea grasses birds and marine mammals stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill Oiled Kemps Ridley turtle credit NOAA Phase III represents the largest collection of NRDA proposals to date encompassing 28 proposals intended to restore ecosystem health and lost recreational opportunities across five states At 320 million the biggest of these new projects will be to rehabilitate Mississippi River Delta ecosystems devastated by the oil spill and subsequent cleanup efforts Called the Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration project it will restore damaged barrier islands in Plaquemines and Terrebonne Parishes by rebuilding beaches dunes and back barrier marsh habitat Restoration workers will deposit sediment in an effort to create new land install sand fencing to encourage dune growth and plant native species across the island in an effort to combat erosion The strengthened barrier islands will protect wetlands along the delta s coastline as well as provide critical habitat for a variety of wildlife that suffered in the aftermath of the spill including fish shellfish and birds The cost of the Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration project is expected to cost 320 million Previously the NRDA Trustees finalized the first phase of early NRDA projects which included eight restoration projects spread across five gulf states in April 2012 and the second phase of early NRDA projects which introduced an additional two restoration projects in November 2012 In addition to the 71 million committed to Early Restoration in Phases I and II the new projects will bring restoration spending totals under NRDA to well over 600 million Oiled marsh in Barataria Bay La credit NOAA All NRDA projects from Phase I through Phase III are being negotiated and funded in accordance with the 1 billion Early Framework Agreement signed by the NRDA Trustees and BP in April of 2011 The Framework Agreement was largely seen as a positive step toward restoring the Gulf when it was signed but since then money has been slow to flow under the agreement The NRDA Trustees recently announced their intention to delay further implementation of early restoration including the recently announced Phase III projects until the completion of a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for all Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery efforts Nevertheless the Trustees remain committed to swiftly advancing these important ecosystem restoration projects with all deliberate speed At a June 6 U S Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation hearing Rachel Jacobson Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of Interior underlined the urgency of Gulf restoration stating Interior fully recognizes without hesitation that the time to begin restoration is now She went on to promise that early restoration efforts would not come at the expense of or otherwise undermine the ultimate goal of complete restoration We will not stop until the entire billion is obligated Jacobson continued It is important to note that our early restoration efforts in no way affect our ongoing assessment work or our ability to recover from BP the full measure of damages needed for complete restoration No Comments Senate hearing reviews Gulf Coast oil spill restoration efforts June 10 2013 Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress Meetings Events Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA RESTORE Act Senator Mary Landrieu By Will Lindsey Environmental Defense Fund The U S Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation held a hearing Thursday June 6 to review the progress that has been made to restore the Gulf Coast since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster Senators Bill Nelson D Fla and Roger Wicker R Miss chaired the hearing titled Gulf Restoration A Progress Report Three Years after the Deepwater Horizon Disaster The hearing came nearly a year after passage of the RESTORE Act legislation that allocates 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties from the 2010 oil spill to Gulf restoration Both senators were cosponsors of the legislation Seven witnesses testified at the hearing representing organizations responsible for managing these restoration funds as well as the projects that will utilize these funds that will soon begin flowing through three funding streams as a result of the 2010 spill These streams include 2 54 billion resulting from the BP criminal settlement an initial 800 million as a result of a Transocean settlement and 1 billion as a result of agreements with BP to fund early restoration efforts under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process The amount of funds available under the RESTORE Act is expected to grow substantially once the ongoing civil trials with BP are complete Notably Sen Mary Landrieu D La who played a vital role in passing the RESTORE Act gave the opening remarks In reference to the need to better understand the Gulf Coast in order to implement restoration efforts Landrieu said Science can make us much better leaders if we would just listen to our scientists and to the actual research Following these opening remarks each witness provided an oral testimony on the efforts their individual organizations have taken since the spill In response to the first testimony by Lois Schiffer General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sen Nelson stressed Congress s expectation that the administrative agencies involved with the implementation of restoration projects follow the legislative intent of Congress in enacting the law One of the things that we want to emphasize here is that we want you to pay attention to the law Nelson said The statement came in reference to a previous comment by Sen Landrieu indicating that the law was written in order to strike a balance between competing interests and thus a portion of the law specifically allocates a percentage of the funds solely to environmental restoration In the final testimony Dr Stephen Polasky professor of environmental economics at the University of Minnesota emphasized the importance of the RESTORE Act and the funding that it will provide to Gulf restoration Under the RESTORE Act we can reinvest in nature to ensure the recovery of the Gulf of Mexico so that it continues to provide benefits to current and future generations said Polasky Moving forward it appears that Congress will be paying encouragingly close attention to the ways in which the Gulf Coast restoration money from these different funding streams is being spent Also encouraging is the apparent intention of the recipients of these funds to work together to ensure that comprehensive restoration remains a key focal point of the ongoing efforts along the Gulf Coast As Rachel Jacobson Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks for the Department of Interior stated in her testimony We have a responsibility to the public to ensure that we make wise investments that are well coordinated across the spectrum through all funding streams No Comments BP Oil Spill 1 000 Days Later January 14 2013 Posted by Chandler Clay in Birds BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress Economics Federal Policy Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Hurricane Isaac Latest News Restoration Projects Seafood It s been exactly 1 000 days since the BP operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded gushing millions of barrels of crude oil into a body of water that supports countless ecosystems and economies Below is a timeline of major events that have occurred in the last 1 000 days Tell BP to stop stalling take responsibility and pay the maximum Clean Water Act fines for which they are liable now Sources Restorethegulf org First oiled bird is recovered Restorethegulf org NOAA Expands Fishing Closed Area in Gulf of Mexico The New York Times Effects of Spill Spread as Tar Balls Are Found TIME 100 Days of the BP Spill A Timeline The White House Executive Order 13554 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Bloomberg BP Oil Still Ashore One Year After End of Gulf Spill PNAS Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Study confirms oil from Deepwater Horizon disaster entered food chain in the Gulf of Mexico The Times Picayune About 565 000 pounds of oiled material from Deepwater Horizon stirred up by Hurricane Isaac The New York Times BP Will Plead Guilty and Pay Over 4 Billion Georgia Tech Biology Gulf of Mexico Clean Up Makes 2010 Spill 52 Times More Toxic University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine Atmospheric Science UMiami scientists partner with NOAA Stanford and U of N Texas to study post spill fish toxicology NOAA Fisheries Service 2010 2013 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico The Times Picayune Transocean to pay 1 4 billion to settle pollution safety violations in Gulf oil spill 4 Comments The People Have Spoken October 1 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in Army Corps of Engineers Congress Hurricane Katrina Mississippi River Gulf Outlet By Amanda Moore National Wildlife Federation On September 6 restoration along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet MRGO passed another important milestone with completion of the final public comment period for the U S Army Corps of Engineers planning process It s a milestone worth honoring because almost 49 000 people commented on the plan and the need to prioritize restoration of the area These comments were collected through nonprofit organizations affiliated with the MRGO Must Go Coalition and since last year over 75 000 people have shared their voice of support for the Coalition s recommendations for MRGO ecosystem restoration during the public comment process That is by far a record for the Corps of Engineers New Orleans District and goes to show how important this restoration effort is for the Greater New Orleans area The corps needs to listen to the will of the people and address the ecosystem damaged by the MRGO It s time for the corps to step up to their responsibility and move on this work said John Koeferl member of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association in the Lower Ninth Ward Despite this loud demand for urgent and comprehensive restoration the Corps of Engineers is considering a recommendation of no further action on the MRGO ecosystem restoration report due to a dispute over who will pay for the projects A formal decision is still being made on the recommendation by the Chief of Engineers and is expected this week Aerial graphic of MRGO ecosystem restoration plan components Source U S Army Corp of Engineers Of course the need for restoration transcends a policy dispute The MRGO report which is more than four years beyond its congressional deadline contains the corps plan to restore a portion of more than 600 000 acres of coastal wetlands and waterways impacted by the MRGO shipping channel The MRGO has been directly linked to intensifying the destruction of Hurricane Katrina by destroying the wetlands that once buffered the Greater New Orleans area from storm surge In addition to the Coalition s recommendation that the Corps of Engineers move forward on plan implementation other major recommendations were offered to the corps including prioritizing the 19 projects listed in the corps report that are also addressed in Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan as well as expeditiously moving forward the Violet Freshwater Diversion The majority of marsh creation marsh nourishment and swamp creation features depend on river reintroduction and the Violet Diversion project will allow for salinity control sediment delivery to the Central Wetlands area and better adaptation to sea level rise To learn more about the MRGO Must Go Coalition and our recommendations please visit www MRGOmustGO org No Comments The RESTORE Act Past present and future August 14 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress Diversions Job Creation Restoration Projects RESTORE Act Seafood Senator Mary Landrieu By Whit Remer Policy Analyst Environmental Defense Fund It s been an exciting year for Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign In July 2011 nine gulf senators banded together and introduced the RESTORE Act legislation that would ensure penalties paid by BP and others responsible for the gulf oil spill would be used to restore the gulf region s environment and economy In September the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the bill and in October Representative Steve Scalise R LA and 20 other gulf representatives introduced the House version of the bill Supporters worked hard and waited patiently as the RESTORE Act continued winding its way through congressional hearings and historic votes until finally on June 29 2012 the RESTORE Act was included as part of the final transportation bill and days later signed into law by the President It was an amazing journey 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 The Next 50 Years Funding features for the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan July 17 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in 2012 Coastal Master Plan BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Coastal Master Plan series Congress Federal Policy Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA RESTORE Act Water Resources Development Act WRDA By Cynthia Duet Director of Governmental Relations National Audubon Society Louisiana s recently passed 2012 Coastal Master Plan contains an ambitious mix of risk reduction and restoration projects spread across the entire Louisiana coastal area Such ambition does however come with a price costing an estimated 50 billion over 50 years and so the plan is also frank in its account of the uncertainties and complexities of funding and creating a sustainable coastal Louisiana ecosystem To reverse generations of massive and ongoing land loss encroaching sea level rise and a decade of natural and manmade disasters the funding challenge must be met head on The state acknowledges the need to quickly begin the large scale work laid out in the plan At the same time project implementation depends on funding from a myriad of sources These projects will also be implemented by various actors some projects by Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA others by local or federal partners Progress will be tracked through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Annual Plan which will identify specific projects schedules and funding streams So now that the plan is passed does the funding exist to implement the plan In recent years and in brighter economic times the Louisiana Legislature authorized a generous allocation of state surplus dollars a total of 790 million between 2007 and 2009 to accelerate implementation of priority projects for the coast Additionally the Coastal Impact Assistance Program CIAP established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided nearly 500 million to the state of Louisiana and its coastal parishes the bulk of which was obligated and spent on critical protection and restoration projects in fiscal years 2007 2010 These dollars accompanied by the long standing Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act CWPPRA dollars approximately 80 million per year to which the state matches 15 the Louisiana Coastal Area Program LCA dollars and related federal funds through the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 WRDA are the foundation upon which the coastal program has been funded to date On the horizon are revenues from the sale of mineral leases and royalty revenue from oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico that have been dedicated to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Trust fund through the Gulf of Mexico

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/congress/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Senator David Vitter | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    disaster are used to help restore the region s communities economies and environments instead of going to unrelated federal spending Sens Mary Landrieu D LA and Richard Shelby R AL are the original cosponsors of the bill and are now joined by Sens David Vitter R LA Jeff Sessions R AL Thad Cochran R MS Roger Wicker R MS Bill Nelson D FL Marco Rubio R FL and Kay Bailey Hutchison R TX Sen Barbara Boxer D CA chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee who was instrumental in securing the agreement among the senators has pledged to consider this bill in her committee quickly The damage from the oil spill was done in the Gulf so Congress should ensure that oil spill fines go to the Gulf not to unrelated federal spending reads a joint statement issued by Environmental Defense Fund National Audubon Society National Wildlife Federation The Nature Conservancy Ocean Conservancy and Oxfam America This Gulf state agreement paves the way for Congress to do what voters expect hold the parties responsible for the Gulf oil disaster accountable for restoring the Gulf because our nation s economy depends on a healthy Gulf region A bipartisan poll conducted this spring showed that 83 percent of voters nationwide support and 69 percent strongly support dedicating the Gulf oil spill penalties to restoring the Mississippi River Delta and Gulf Coast The poll also showed support among voters from across the political spectrum 90 percent of Democrats 84 percent of independents 76 percent of Republicans 78 percent of those who say they agree with the Tea Party movement Nearly 500 miles almost half of the coastline in Louisiana Mississippi Alabama and Florida that was contaminated by the Gulf oil disaster remains oiled one year later according to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration There is much more work to be done to ensure that a strong and effective restoration bill for the Gulf ultimately becomes law and this is a positive and commendable first step We look forward to working with the Gulf delegation other members of Congress and the administration on passage of a bill that meets the restoration needs of this critical ecosystem and its vulnerable communities the statement concludes 10 Comments On BP Oil Disaster Anniversary Groups Urge Congress to Use Fines to Restore Gulf Environment and Economy April 20 2011 Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress Meetings Events Senator David Vitter Senator Mary Landrieu An oil soaked brown pelican washes ashore on Grand Isle Louisiana May 21 2010 Photo credit Yuki Kokubo www yukikokubo net On the first anniversary of the BP oil well blowout regional and national leaders urged Congress to hold BP accountable by passing legislation to dedicate BP s Clean Water Act CWA fines to restoring the Gulf s damaged environment and economy Under current law fines paid by BP and others responsible for the spill automatically will be deposited into the Federal Treasury instead of being

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/category/congress/senator-david-vitter/ (2016-05-01)
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