coastal restoration

Beardo62 / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A bill that could increase the amount of royalty money Louisiana gets from offshore oil and gas drilling advanced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

The bill, called the Conservation of America’s Shoreline Terrain and Aquatic Life Act, or COASTAL Act, is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La). It would reduce how much oil and gas money goes to the federal government, and increase the amount that goes to states along the Gulf of Mexico -- Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

BDPC LLC + Pinsonat

A strong majority of Louisiana voters believe in climate change, according to a new poll sponsored by several environmental groups.

About 1,000 “chronic voters” in Louisiana were surveyed by phone for the poll, which was conducted by political consulting firm BDPC LLC + Pinsonat for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition.

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.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This week on the Coastal News Roundup: officials investigate who or what might have been behind all the dead pelicans in Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Plus, an update on the Taylor Energy oil well that’s been leaking in the Gulf of Mexico for almost 15 years.

WWNO’s Travis Lux talks with environment reporter Tristan Baurick from Nola.com | The Times-Picayune about the week in coastal news.

CPRA

Governor John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that he plans to put some of the state’s surplus money toward the coastal program, but first needs approval from state officials.

 

The state of Louisiana ended fiscal year 2018 with an extra $300 million. At an event on Wednesday, Edwards said he plans to dedicate $55 million of that extra cash to coastal restoration and protection, but legally can’t until state officials recognize the funds.

CPRA

Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) released a draft of its new annual plan at the monthly CPRA Board meeting on Wednesday, Jan.16. At the meeting, officials said they plan to seek permits for a significantly bigger Mid-Breton river diversion.

BP

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, WWNO’s Travis Lux talks with Mark Schleifstein, environment reporter for Nola.com/The Times-Picayune, about a big new oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, the latest on a lawsuit related to Hurricane Katrina damages.

 

The following transcript has been lightly edited:

Travis Lux / WWNO

The ribbon of marshland between New Orleans East and Slidell is referred to as the New Orleans East Landbridge. The strip of land protects people from storm surge. Like other parts of the coast, it’s eroding - and as sea levels rise, that could make flooding worse on both the north shore and the south shore of Lake Ponchartrain.

The state of Louisiana is often the entity advocating for specific coastal restoration projects, but now the city of New Orleans is getting involved. WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with New Orleans Coastal Program Manager Anne Coglianese about the Landbridge restoration, and the city’s involvement.

WWNO / Travis Lux

Thousands of miles of canals have been cut throughout Louisiana’s coastal marsh -- most of them for oil and gas wells and pipelines. A lot of them have never been filled back in, which has contributed to coastal erosion.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The Trump administration is proposing changes to how a big environmental law -- the Clean Water Act --  is enforced. That could have implications for many of Louisiana’s wetlands, and the state’s efforts to restore the eroding coast.

 

To better understand what the proposed changes could mean for Louisiana, WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with water law expert Mark Davis, who leads the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy.

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