Tag Archives: mississippi

Environment First – Private Capital Restores

EIPNYTStoryThe New York Times recently covered the important environmental work of Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP), highlighting their massive coastal restoration project in Louisiana.  So while a slow mix of restoration process and politics continue to grind and jockey in the Mississippi Delta, EIP is at work today physically restoring damaged and degraded resources.

Restoration and conservation work going to the ground is ‘rubber meeting road’ in terms of our increasingly at-risk environment, and in terms of our future.  Like many other coastal, river, and wetland restoration projects being installed today across the U.S., the work is funded by private capital.  For EIP, this important effort near New Orleans and others are financed by a $181 million dollar investment fund.  Private sector capital is being increasingly deployed to repair and offset impacts caused by human activities.  >Read More via NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/us/equity-firm-restores-louisiana-marshland-to-earn-credits-it-can-sell.html



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Flowing Rainbows Capture the Natural Migration of the Mississippi

the-alluvial-valley-of-the-lower-mississippi-river-harold-fisk-01These incredible maps of the Mississippi River were created in 1944 by Cartographer Harold Fisk and in  Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River.  In great detail he mapped the twisting and changing path of the river over time in these swirling rainbow colors.  The result is the most amazing set of info-graphics presented in a beautiful way.  The high resolution files can be downloaded from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


See more: http://lmvmapping.erdc.usace.army.mil/


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Drought Still Threatens Mississippi River

Caption: U.S. Army Corps of Engineer vessels dredge chunks of limestone from the Mississippi River. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, Wikimedia Commons)

Discovery News recently reported that due to drought conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned that the Mississippi River could become unnavigable by mid January. However, efforts by the USACE to blast away rocks have bought more time for barge shipping, according to a press release from the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) The river will now likely stay open through January.

In times of drought or flood, healthy floodplains can mitigate the negative impacts of either extreme.  Healthy floodplains act as a sponge to store water in times of drought and absorb excess water during flood events.  That’s why at Trout Headwaters we tirelessly advocate for healthy, functioning floodplains for rivers and the smaller tributaries that feed them.

Read more: http://news.discovery.com/earth/weather-extreme-events/drought-still-threatens-2013-with-a-withered-river-130109.htm#mkcpgn=rssnws1


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Overall, Drought May Reduce Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ in 2012

The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone will likely be smaller this year due to drought conditions throughout the Mississippi River watershed.

A team of NOAA-supported scientists is predicting that this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone could range from a low of approximately 1,197 square miles to as much as 6,213 square miles. The wide range is the result of using two different forecast models. The forecast is based on Mississippi River nutrient inputs compiled annually by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The smaller dead zone forecast, covering an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island, comes from researchers from the University of Michigan. Their predicted size is based solely on the current year’s spring nutrient inputs from the Mississippi River which were significantly lower than average due to drought conditions throughout much of the watershed. In 2011 Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay were reportedly the largest on record due to higher than normal rainfall events. Read more: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20120621_deadzone.html

In an article released by Trout Headwaters, Inc. called Restoring Nature’s Water Filter: How Streamside Vegetation Can Save the Gulf of Mexico we discussed of how nature’s water filter of diverse, streamside, woody vegetation slows and purifies water before it enters streams and   Restoring nature’s water filter is the only permanent, sustainable solution to protecting our nation’s estuaries. 

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Only 9 Percent of Mississippi River Levees Rated ‘Acceptable’ by the Corps of Engineers

Another good reason for protecting the health of natural flood plains is the high cost of flooding. The New York Times reports that when the Army Corps of Engineers declared last year that the levees in certain places, like East St. Louis, Ill. were ‘unacceptable,’ the rating kicked up a storm of protest along the broad Mississippi River flood plain. 

Local officials and residents said the corps had raised its safety standards to unreasonable levels, overstated the risks, and heaped millions of dollars of unnecessarily expensive repair and insurance costs on the community. The Corps said it had not changed its standards. Instead, improved technologies for assessing risks help engineers get a more accurate picture of the condition of the soil supporting the levees.

Under more stringent inspections, the corps has declared 10 percent of the levees in a new database of 2,200 federal levee systems ‘unacceptable,’  including those protecting people in Dallas, Sacramento, St. Paul and Tulsa, Okla. About 80 percent are rated ‘minimally acceptable.’  Just 9 percent of the levees in the database have been declared ‘acceptable’.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/us/illinoiss-metro-east-disputes-levees-unacceptable-rating.html?_r=1

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Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign Launches New Website From the Environmental Defense Fund

Conservation groups recently launched a new website, focused on restoring one of America’s greatest natural resources, the Mississippi River Delta. The site houses scientific information, public policy analysis, cultural and historical summaries, and Delta Dispatches, a news blog about restoration efforts in the delta.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/28/4084617/mississippi-river-delta-restoration.html#ixzz1f44QdBVC 

Visit the Site: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/


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Struggling To Contain A Rising Mississippi

Floodwaters are rising to record heights in the lower Mississippi, weeks before they’re expected to crest. Ira Flatow and guests discuss how engineers have boxed in the river with dams, levees and spillways, and whether human-induced climate change might bring more frequent floods. >More via ScienceFriday

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Hydrologic Assessment of Spring Flooding Risks for the U.S.

NOAA – National Weather Service – USGS:  National Hydrologic Assessment of Spring Flooding Risk as of 3/3/2011 now available.  Current forecasts predict major flooding along the Upper Mississippi River.  Mapping of Streamflow Analysis, Current Soil Moisture and more for the United States. >Read More

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Louisiana and Mississippi Coastal Property Values – Impacts of our Black Tide

In another sad reminder of the undeniable, intrinsic link between our economy and our ecology,  recent projections (from Housing Predictor) that the ongoing Gulf oil leak could erode coastal property values in Louisiana and Mississippi by 30 percent.  Via NuWire Investor

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Ground Zero for our Black Tide – Louisiana’s Wetlands

BP PLC was leasing the Deepwater Horizon rig when it exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and triggering the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.  As the Associated Press reports: “thick, sticky oil crept deeper into delicate marshes of the Mississippi Delta, an arrival dreaded for a month since the crude started spewing into the Gulf, as anger and frustration mounted over efforts to plug the gusher from a blown-out well and contain the spill.”

According to the report: “Everything in that marsh is dead as we speak,” Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said after touring the clogged marshes. “Had you fallen off that boat yesterday and come up breathing that stuff, you probably wouldn’t be here, either.”

Home to rare birds and mammals, Louisiana’s wetlands are presently ground zero for this growing black tide.

What follows is a brief chronology and links to stories leading to the still-active and increasing environmental disaster:  

  • Difficult pictures of seabirds caught in the BP oil spill: http://bit.ly/9Xg4MA (via the Associated Press June 4)
  • BP Removed from Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes http://bit.ly/aqGfBC (via The Inspired Economist  June 3)
  • Louisiana and Mississippi Coastal Property Values – Impacts of our Black Tide: http://wp.me/pF7Va-hA (via NuWire Investor June 1)
  • Vintage video of Teddy Roosevelt in Louisiana – now a National Wildlife Refuge http://ow.ly/1Rqc9 and USFWS Pacific employees deployed to Louisiana to help. http://ow.ly/1Rqbi (Via US Fish & Wildlife Service Pacific Region May 28)
  • Sign Up for Deepwater Horizon Response Text Message Alerts http://bit.ly/aAC00D (Via USEPA May 21)
  • Oil leak threatens Louisiana’s marshes http://bit.ly/9dA59W (Via PressTV May 20)
  • Update – Giant Oil Plumes Found Under the Gulf  http://bit.ly/9Dsiun (Via Gather May 16)
  • Underwater Video Shows Oil and Gas Streaming from the Damaged Riser http://ow.ly/1KyV2 (Via The New York Times May 13)
  • If Exxon Valdez is an example, Louisiana is in for a long cleanup http://ow.ly/1Hysw (Via CBC News May 11)
  • Congress grills execs on ‘cascade of failures’ behind Gulf oil spill http://bit.ly/9tihoo (Via The Associated Press May 11)
  • What You Wish You Didn’t Know About Oil Spills http://bit.ly/daeo8q (Via NWF Senior Scientist Doug Inkley May 9)
  • Video of flight over BP oil slick shows disaster’s enormity http://bit.ly/aCRV8T  (Via the Institute for Southern Studies May 5)
  • Louisiana fishing boat captain reels in spilled oil off Venice http://ow.ly/1GXyE (Via National Wildlife Federation May 4)
  • BP Fights Oil Spill with welding torches, cash http://ow.ly/1GXsz (Via Environmental News Network May 4)
  • 1O Things You Can Do to Help Oil Spill Recovery http://ow.ly/1Gv16 (Via US News & World Report May 3)
  • Gulf Coast Towns Brace as Huge Oil Slick Nears Marshes http://ow.ly/1FXrp (Via The New York Times May 1)
  • Hundreds line up for oil spill cleanup jobs in Florida http://bit.ly/abpdBA (Via USAToday)
  • Oil spill reaches Louisiana shore http://bit.ly/bwQTZX (Via the Shreveport Times April 30)
  • BP’s Containment Problem Unprecedented http://tinyurl.com/2877trg (Via the Los Angeles Times April 29)
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