Big chunks of Louisiana’s coast will be swallowed by the sea within decades unless there’s a major effort to rebuild wetlands. Over the last six to 10 years, sea level has been rising about .5 inches per year on average in the region, according to Tulane University researchers, who recently published a new study in the journal Nature Communications .
“In the Mississippi Delta, about 65 percent of study sites are probably still keeping pace, but in the westernmost part of coastal Louisiana, more than 60 percent of sites are on track to drown,” said Tulane geology professor Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, a co-author of the study. Continue reading “Swallowed by rising seas”→
Change in Louisiana law will benefit turtles and shrimpers
FRISCO — Gulf of Mexico sea turtles may soon be a little safer, following a vote by the Louisiana State Legislature to reverse a 1987 law that conflicted with federal rules requiring shrimp fishing boats to use Turtle Excluder Devices in fishing nets.
The TEDs are openings in the net that enable trapped sea turtles to escape before they drown.Louisiana was the only state that refused to enforce this federal law, even though the state’s vessels make up a significant portion of the Gulf Coast shrimp trawl fishery, which by some estimates kills up to 50,000 turtles per year. Continue reading “Good news for Gulf of Mexico sea turtles”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — Many Gulf Coast residents most directly affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster have become more concerned about a wide range of environmental issues, including sea level rise.
Some also became more likely to support a moratorium on deepwater drilling and to favor alternative energy rather than increased oil exploration. But the responses varied geographically, with Lousiana residents less likely to support limits on drilling, while Florida residents favor stronger environmental protections, according to University of New Hampshire researchers who interviewed 2,023 residents of the Gulf Coast conducted in the aftermath of the explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010.
Research team documents severe ill-effects in Barataria Bay
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Many dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay — one of the areas hit hardest by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil catastrophe — are underweight and anemic, have low blood sugar and suffers symptoms of liver and lung disease, NOAA researchers said this week.
Nearly half of the 32 dolphins studied also have abnormally low levels of hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function, biologists said, releasing preliminary results of a natural resource damage assessment to help responders deal with a steady stream of dolphin strandings along the tainted coastline. A NOAA dolphin FAQ is online here.
Feb. 2 report compiles independent monitoring data
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY— Citing the public’s right to know why an oil rig 11 miles off the coast of Louisiana has been leaking oil for seven years, a coalition of watchdog and environmental groups has filed a lawsuit against Taylor Energy Company LLC.
More heavy rain expected along Gulf Coast during the weekend
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Tropical Storm Lee is still gaining strength as it lashes the coast of Louisiana with heavy rains and winds of up to 60 mph, with landfall expected sometime within the next 24 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The west side of the storm is being weakened by dry air coming off drought-stricken Texas, but the east side of the storm is feeding on deep moisture from far down in the western Caribbean according to the latest forecast discussion. The storm could reach near-hurricane strength, with sustained winds of 65 mph during the next 24 hours, and could drop catastrophic amounts of rain in some low-lying coastal areas. Continue reading “Tropical Storm Lee heading for landfall”→