04/13 - Louisiana Coastal Concerns: BP & Beyond

What are viable strategies for addressing our coastal erosion in light of sea level rise, subsidence, hurricanes and oil spills?

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill dumped nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, with Louisiana’s coast receiving the greatest percentage of direct ecological damage. Three years later, a civil trial is taking place to determine the financial liability of BP and three other companies for the impact to the five Gulf states.

Eighty percent of penalties paid by the responsible parties will go toward gulf coast restoration. But will it be money well-spent? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently predicted that Louisiana’s southeastern coast is likely to be under at least 4.3 feet of water by the end of the century. What does that mean for projects in Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast? What are viable strategies for addressing the state’s coastal erosion in light of sea level rise, subsidence, hurricanes and oil spills? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Louisiana Coastal Concerns: BP and Beyond” Wednesday, April 24th at 7 p.m. on LPB HD. (Taping Tuesday, April 23rd.)

Backgrounder

It is still not known to what extent the most toxic components of the oil have entered the ecosystem. Muth says, “Some of these chemicals are certain to have persisted in the organisms in the grass; in the things that eat the grass and the things that eat the things that eat the grass.” Environmentalists note that it took three years for some species of fish in Alaska to display the full effects from the Valdez oil spill.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority – State group tasked with addressing coastal land loss

Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan - $50 billion over 50 years of projects

LSU School of the Coast & Environment

Phases of BP trial explained – Article by Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com

South Lafourche Levee District

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