Thursday, March 22, 2007

3/24/2007 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (3/20/07)
  • Three Officers Charged in Sean Bell Killing Plead Not Guilty, Family Calls For Justice
  • Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
Mark Davis, Director of the Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy

audio Part 1
audio Part 2

Earlier this month, Times-Picayune reporters Bob Marshall and Mark Shleifstein wrote an alarming series of articles warning that Louisiana has ten years to start reversing coastal wetland loss.

"Unless the state rapidly reverses the land loss, coastal scientists say, by the middle of the next decade the cost of repair likely will be too daunting for Congress to accept - and take far too long to implement under the current approval process. New research suggests that Louisiana may have no more than about ten years to start reversing land loss before the Gulf Coast reaches urban communities in south of New Orleans.”

Meanwhile, a fresh coastal restoration plan being developed by the state has come under criticism by some of the best scientists available on coastal restoration issues. The Louisiana legislature created the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority after Hurricane Katrina to develop a comprehensive strategy to reverse the loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands – a critical barrier to protect communities from hurricane storm surge.

Some of Louisiana’s top water resources scientists criticized a massive levee project across south Louisiana – the “Great Wall of Louisiana” – and other projects which don’t consider more contemporary solutions to both protect populations and support sustainable wetlands. One such proposal not included in the plan is something called “leaky levees” which can be closed to prevent storm surge, but which can be opened to allow nutrient-rich sediments flowing down the Mississippi River to replenish wetland soils.

Representatives of the state plan say that it’s still a work in progress, and that scientists are invited to participate in the process of improving the plan.

Scientists, meanwhile, complain that they haven’t been invited into a process, if a process for participation has even been developed.

Among the alarming predictions listed in The Times-Picayune series:

· Gulf waves that once ended on barrier island beaches far from the city could be crashing on levees behind suburban lawns.

· The state will be forced to begin abandoning outlying communities such as Lafitte, Golden Meadow, Cocodrie, Montegut, Leeville, Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.

· The infrastructure serving a vital portion of the nation’s domestic energy production will be exposed to the encroaching Gulf.

· Many levees built to withstand a few hours of storm surge will be standing in water 24 hours a day and facing the monster surges that come with tropical storms.

· Hurricanes approaching from the south will treat the city like beachfront property, crushing it with forces like those experienced by the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Katrina.

· The entire nation would reel from the losses.

Mark Davis is one of the state’s best advocates for wetlands protection, and one of the best minds on coastal restoration. He was recently recruited by Tulane University to lead a new Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy.

Bob Marshall & Mark Shleifstein, "Last Chance: The Fight to Save a Disappearing Coast," The Times-Picayune series, 3/4/07 - 3/6/07.

Bob Marshall, "Panels blast coastal master plan," The Times-Picayune, 3/19/07.

Bob Marshall, "Corps caused disaster, report says," The Times-Picayune, 3/21/07.

Alfred Sunseri (President, P&J Oyster Co.), "Create agency to oversee coast," Letter to the Editor, The Times-Picayune, 3/21/07.

Jerome Ringo (Chairman, Board of Directors, National Wildlife Federation), "Corps Reform Must Come First," Letter to the Editor, The Times-Picayune, 3/24/07.

Mark Schleifstein, "Entergy chief urges U.S. to address global warming," The Times-Picayune, 3/21/07.


More information at 3 Ring Circus Productions.

Music Played:
David Rovics, "They're Building a Wall"

Esther Sparks, "Irreplaceable"

Electrical Spectacle, "Supernumerary ...," on the WTUL Back to the Basement V. 5 Marathon CD compilation.


Anonymous Monita said...

Well said.

6:00 AM  

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