In the News


Canaries in the Water

Aquatic insects, crustaceans, worms and mollusks that live in streams are widely used to determine a stream’s biological condition. These organisms can be found in all rivers and streams, even in the smallest streams that cannot support fish. Because they are relatively stationary and cannot escape pollution, these critters can be compared to canaries in a coal mine in detecting unhealthy conditions. A healthy stream supports a diverse assemblage of organisms ranging from microscopic plankton to bottom-dwelling mollusks to free-swimming fish. An unhealthy stream will be lacking many of the organisms that once lived there.


Gulf restoration council approves initial restoration plan, as Gov. Bobby Jindal urges quick action

A federal-state group set to oversee the spending of billions of dollars of Clean Water Act fines from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill unanimously approved Wednesday an initial comprehensive plan for restoring the Gulf Coast’s ecosystem and economy. Members of the council also promised that the first projects could be approved by June 2014, the beginning of the next hurricane season.


Positive Impacts Of Farmers’ Conservation Efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service released a report this week that shows farmers have significantly reduced the loss of sediment and nutrients from farm fields through voluntary conservation work in the lower Mississippi River basin.


US farm economy flowing in reverse

CHICAGO — The long reach of last summer’s devastating U.S. drought has reversed the flow of the mighty Mississippi River — for corn, at least, with grain-laden barges beginning the rare movement north to Midwest ethanol plants from southern farms.


Houston at risk: Rising sea level projected to increase flooding costs

With the approach next month of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Ike’s devastating landfall in Texas, thoughts and talk will return to the storm’s inundation of Gulf-front Galveston and its interruption of electric power to millions of residents of inland Houston.


Fishing for community solutions in the world's deltas

What do vulnerable fishing and farming communities along the Mississippi River Delta and the Mekong River Delta have in common? Quite a lot. Earlier this year, I traveled to Vietnam to help connect Oxfam partners that are working in Louisiana and Vietnam. We participated in the 2013 World Deltas Dialogues, a conference bringing together leaders to examine regional approaches to the growing threats of climate change, subsidence, and upstream development on the world’s great river deltas.


US coastal cities need to take steps now to protect against rising seas, Sandy task force says

NEW YORK -- Coastal communities should assume floods are going to happen more frequently and realize that spending now on protective measures could save money later, according to a report issued by a presidential task force charged with developing a strategy for rebuilding areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy.


Army Corps Of Engineers Warns Of Possible Cutbacks On Mississippi River

Army Corps of Engineers officials say they’ll have to drastically change how they manage navigation and habitats along the Mississippi River.


Will river water save Louisiana's coast or kill the marsh?

St. Mary Parish, La. - Azure Bevington, a PhD student in coastal wetlands ecology at LSU, stands in the Wax Lake Delta, a spot that did not exist when she was born in 1980.


Focus on water quality in Mississippi River basin having impact

WASHINGTON - In just four years, farmers in the Mississippi River basin will have implemented conservation practices on more than 880,000 acres to improve water quality through one targeted initiative.


Gulf fishermen visit South Dakota

Friday, a group of Louisiana fishermen were on their way to visit an ethanol plant in South Dakota, as part of a four-day exchange trip aimed at increasing understanding between independent business owners who all face challenging water quality issues.


Climate change softens up already-vulnerable Louisiana

A climate change-spiced gumbo of marsh destruction, sea-level rise and the threat of stronger hurricanes looms over the state as volunteers work to restore Louisiana's coastal wetlands.


Could Galveston Island eventually be underwater?

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- Could part of Galveston Island be under water within the next 10 years? What about other cities along the Texas coast? A new study is out and that's what it is predicting, unless something is done now.


From Coast to Toast

At opposite ends of the country, two of America’s most golden coastal enclaves are waging the same desperate battle against erosion. With beaches and bluffs in both Malibu and Nantucket disappearing into the ocean, wealthy homeowners are prepared to do almost anything—spend tens of millions on new sand, berms, retaining walls, and other measures—to save their precious waterfront properties. What’s stopping them? William D. Cohan and Vanessa Grigoriadis report on the clash between deep-pocketed summer people and local working folks.


Louisiana's Disappearing Islands

A string of uninhabited islands in the Gulf of Mexico have gone from teeming with wildlife to nearly non-existent thanks to constant pummeling from tropical systems, and according to some scientists, climate change is making matters far worse.

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