Coastal Desk

Lane Lefort / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Louisiana is receiving nearly $95 million from the federal government to restore the coast. The money comes from offshore oil and gas lease sales, through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.

It’s the second payment made to gulf states since the act went into effect. Louisiana is receiving $12 million more than it did last year.

U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images

Saturday is the nine-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, we take a look at how offshore drilling safety has changed since then, and what the government has done to prevent disasters in the future.

For this week’s coastal news roundup, WWNO’s Tegan Wendland gets the answers from Loyola law professor, Rob Verchick.

Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz / U.S. Air Force

During the BP oil spill in 2010, responders used chemical dispersants to break up the oil. Recent studies have questioned both the safety and efficacy of those chemicals. Other studies have suggested that those concerns are overblown.

So which is it? Are dispersants dangerous? Or are they not? And why is it so hard to figure out?

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, environment reporter Tristan Baurick from Nola.com | The Times Picayune, sorts it all out with WWNO’s Travis Lux.

shannonpatrick17 / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday aimed at making it easier for oil and gas companies to build pipelines.

In recent years, some states - like New York - have prevented pipelines from being built by claiming the oil and gas they move could threaten nearby waterways.

One of Trump’s executive orders focuses on speeding up pipeline projects by making it harder for states to stop them on environmental grounds. It asks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review how states apply environmental rules to pipelines.

Travis Lux / WWNO

This week on the Coastal News Roundup -- the City of New Orleans joins six other parishes by filing a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry over damage to the coast. Plus -- can levees keep up with subsidence and sea level rise? The Army Corps of Engineers starts a study to find out.
 

WWNO’s Travis Lux talks about this week’s coastal news with environment reporter Mark Schleifstein from Nola.com | The Times-Picayune.

The following transcript has been lightly edited.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Many of South Louisiana’s problems overlap with water, like urban flooding and coastal land loss. In recent years, more businesses are popping up to address those problems.

Local entrepreneurs looking to scale-up their water-related businesses competed for a chance to win $10,000 dollars Wednesday evening at an event called the Water Challenge.

 

The Water Challenge is the first of three pitch annual pitch competitions known collectively as PitchNOLA. The series is organized by Propeller, a non-profit that helps local entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses -- with a particular focus on addressing inequalities.

Coastal News Roundup: So Many Lawsuits

Mar 29, 2019
Jonathan Henderson / VanishingEarth.org/SouthWings.org

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: the hotly contested Bayou Bridge Pipeline is finally complete. Plus, an update on two environmental lawsuits.

WWNO’s Travis Lux got all the details from Sara Sneath, environment reporter for NOLA.com | The Times Picayune.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The state’s cornerstone coastal restoration project has been delayed. The announcement was made in Baton Rouge at the monthly Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board meeting.

If constructed, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion would build land by diverting some of the muddy Mississippi River water through a controlled structure along the river levee, and into nearby marshes.

Despite continued pushback from commercial fishing groups, state officials are eager to get the project built quickly. Last year, the state signed an agreement with the federal government that would speed up the timeline for the project by about two years.

Travis Lux / WWNO

After a couple years of billing issues, the Sewerage and Water Board (SWB) said last fall that citizens owed the utility about $23 million dollars. Now, it turns out that number is even higher.

At a city council committee meeting on Tuesday, council member Joe Giarrusso revealed that the number is currently closer to $130 million.

Author Nathaniel Rich on Climate Change, April 4

Mar 19, 2019

Be in the audience on Thursday, April 4, when WWNO’s Coastal Reporter Tegan Wendland interviews author Nathaniel Rich about his new book, Losing Earth: A Recent History.  Rich argues that by 1979 we knew nearly everything we know today about climate change, and how to stop it. In Losing Earth, Rich chronicles the next decade’s desperate campaign by a small number of scientists, politicians, and others to act before we lose the chance to save the earth.

Pages