CRCL News from Carey CRCL partners with Marathon Oil and Restore America’s Estuaries to host Volunteers in Celebration of National Estuaries Day

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Group photo after a long, hard day of fun
planting at Elmer’s Island.

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Volunteers planting the dune grass, marsh hay, at Elmer’s Island.

08 October 2013, 22:32

CRCL News from Carey Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan: Overview of a Science-Based and Publicly Informed Decision-Making Process


Natalie Peyronnin, Mandy Green, Carol Parsons Richards,
Alaina Owwens, Denise Reed, Joanne Chamberlain, David C.
Groves, William K. Rhinehart, and Karim Belhadji


For decades, coastal planning efforts in Louisiana have focused on addressing either risk reduction or coastal restoration, or on specific projects at distinct locations along our coast, with little overlap or integration across the entire coastal landscape.  It was not until the devastating hurricanes of 2005 that planning efforts began to integrate coastal protection with coastal restoration.  The first coordinated effort to emphasize a comprehensive approach to storm risk reduction and coastal restoration came in 2007, with publication of Louisiana’s first Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.  The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the state entity responsible for developing the plan, is also required to update it every 5 years.  For their updated 2012 Coastal Master Plan, CPRA focused on expanding their technical analysis and outreach and engagement efforts to identify specific projects that best represent sound, efficient investments for coastal Louisiana, considering  resource and funding constraints, as well as numerous future environmental and risk reduction uncertainties.                                        

20 September 2013, 14:25

CRCL News from Carey Special Issue #67 of the Journal of Coastal Research Highlights the Technical Analysis that supports Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan

15515036-67 sp1 largecover200“There is a renewed sense of hope for the coastal future of Louisiana, a hope rooted in science and a realistic appraisal of what can be accomplished in the short and long terms to halt—and begin to reverse—more than 80 years of coastal degradation that is affecting our lives, culture, infrastructure, ecology, and economy.  That hope is quantified and outlined in Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, our 2012 update of the projects, programs, and concepts we will implement to address the serious issues confronting us.” 

These are the opening words that Garret Graves, Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Board, uses to introduce Special Issue #67 of the Journal of Coastal Research (JCR), “Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan Technical Analysis,” which highlights the work of Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan modeling and Planning Tool teams. 

In response to the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 8 of the First Extraordinary Session of 2005, which formed CPRA.  CPRA is tasked with developing a comprehensive protection and restoration master plan for coastal Louisiana, and producing updates to the plan every five years.  In 2007, CPRA produced Louisiana’s first Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, commonly referred to as Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.  In a ground-breaking effort that integrated coastal protection and restoration, CPRA delivered an award-winning report that established goals and objectives, and synthesized decades of coastal thinking about projects and solutions.  The 2007 Coastal Master Plan laid the framework and became the starting point for the 2012 Coastal Master Plan effort.

17 September 2013, 16:27

CRCL News from Carey South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers and Louisiana Gulf Fishermen Build Momentum for Conservation in America

Although their accents, landscapes, and reliance on the Mississippi River are quite different, farmers and ranchers from South Dakota and fishermen from south Louisiana met recently to see how connected they really are.  As part of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange, three South Dakota farm and ranch couples came to south Louisiana in July for an educational outing where they learned about the trials and triumphs of managing businesses reliant on healthy Mississippi River Delta and Gulf of Mexico ecosystems in Louisiana. 

The couples visited the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in Cocodrie and were provided an overview of economic topics including the Louisiana fishing guide industry, shrimp fishing, oyster operations, Gulf-based energy, and the ocean freight and shipping businesses.   The ranchers and farmers also got a crash course on current Louisiana conservation topics like hypoxia or the “Dead Zone,” diversions and marsh building, salt water intrusion, economic and development impacts on the coast, and municipal water concerns.  Providing true Louisiana hospitality, the ranchers and farmers were also treated to fishing trip along coastal Louisiana’s Cajun bayous.

Then in early August, three south Louisiana couples whose livelihoods depend on our state’s commercial fishing, tourism, and recreational fishing industries traveled to Sioux Falls to participate in an intensive briefing on the innovations and realities of grain and livestock farming and ranching in South Dakota. The focus of their trip was on South Dakota’s grain and livestock production, and the fishermen were briefed on production topics such as best practices for row-crop production, state and Federal conservation programs, drain tiling, nutrient management, Federal crop insurance incentives, municipal water issues, and current economic impacts.  The trip was capped off by a trip to the Sioux Empire Fair.

10 September 2013, 16:29

CRCL News from Carey Years after Hurricane Katrina: Restoration and Climate Change are Essential to Coastal Louisiana’s Future Resilience

As those in Louisiana and across the nation marked the 8th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast on August 29, 2013, southeast Louisiana’s elected officials and community leaders gathered in New Orleans to reflect on how far they’ve come and where they can improve. 

Overwhelmingly, the elected officials, community activists, and religious leaders spoke of the region's resilience.  But more importantly, they urged expedient local and federal action on rebuilding the state's fragile coastline and addressing the impacts of climate change.  "We have a moral obligation to future generations to ensure that tragedies like Hurricane Katrina do not happen again,'' said Norma Jane Sabiston of the Climate Action Committee Louisiana. 

However, Louisiana's disappearing coastline and climate change make our state more vulnerable to future storms.  Louisiana’s coastal wetlands provide natural protective barriers against hurricanes, but they are rapidly shrinking.  Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 square miles of coastal wetlands, an area in size roughly equivalent to the state of Delaware.  If nothing more than what has already been done is undertaken, Louisiana has the potential to lose up to an additional 1,750 square miles of wetlands by 2050.  This is land that Louisiana, and our rest of the US, cannot afford to lose—land that not only provides a storm buffer for communities, but that also provides important habitat for our state’s fish and wildlife, transportation routes for major industries, and the majority of our domestic energy infrastructure.

04 September 2013, 18:59

CRCL News from Carey Coastal Connections: Welcome to CRCL’s New Blog!

Welcome to Coastal Connections, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s (CRCL’s) new blog! Since 1988, CRCL has united various stakeholders under the common mission of protecting and restoring a sustainable coastal Louisiana.  CRCL has always been, and will continue to be, a champion for using sound science to create wide-ranging policies for our coast.  We exist for the sole purpose of finding realistic solutions to complex coastal problems and providing solutions that address the numerous concerns of coastal citizens and businesses. 

We are currently in the process of revamping our website to include much more information for coastal stakeholders and communities, particularly concerning the most current topics in coastal protection and restoration.  We are also updating the website to connect you with scientific and policy information that is easily accessible and easy to understand.

Coastal Connections aims to connect those who live, work, and play in coastal Louisiana to the latest scientific, technical, and policy information about their Sportsman’s Paradise. We also want to provide valuable connections between science and day to day life in coastal Louisiana.

26 August 2013, 19:43

CRCL News from Scott CRCL and Shell Oil Company Announce New Oyster Shell Recycling Program

By Scott Madere

June 6, 2013

IMG 8019Oysters are one of Louisiana’s most popular coastal foods, and are consumed in every way possible:  raw, fried, in Po-boys, in Thanksgiving stuffing… the sky is the limit for these culinary jewels of the coast.  But what about the shells left behind?  CRCL is undertaking an effort to return oyster shells back into the natural habitat, where they can serve as a foundation for reef creation and future oyster growth.

06 June 2013, 13:00

CRCL News from Scott Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases Draft Plan for RESTORE Act Funding

By Scott Madere

May 30, 2013

GoogleEarthMapOfGulfOfMexicoCoastUS 1The Council charged with guiding a large portion of funds from RESTORE Act-related penalties has released a draft plan for spending these anticipated dollars.

30 May 2013, 15:50

CRCL News from Carey Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Scientists Address Conference Attendees

By Carey L. Perry

On the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident, a diverse group of researchers gathered at Louisiana State University for a conference to discuss “Louisiana Research Perspectives on the Deepwater Horizon 2010 Spill: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Presenters included ecologists, geologists, physicists, sociologists, public health experts, economists, and fishermen, among others, who discussed research generated from the oil spill to date, with a strong focus on what has been learned and what new research questions the current knowledge has generated.

At the start of the conference, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists, Dr. Chris Reddy and Dr. John Teal, addressed attendees as the conference’s keynote speakers. Dr. Chris Reddy is a senior scientist in the WHOI's Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry. Since April 2010, he has devoted much of his research efforts to studying the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He has studied numerous other oil spills around the world. Dr. John Teal, a well-known coastal wetland ecologist is Scientist Emeritus at WHOI. In addition to his numerous years of coastal marsh research, Dr. Teal has investigated the effects of hydrostatic pressure on deepsea animals, the physiology of large, warm-blooded fishes, bird migration over oceans, wastewater treatment, and oil pollution.

24 April 2013, 20:32

CRCL News from Morgan CRCL and Brown University Partner on Coastal Program for Gifted High School Students

By Morgan Crutcher

IMG 7266CRCL and Brown University welcomed 19 high school students from across the country to Louisiana in March, conducting the first successful pilot run of a week-long curriculum for students focused on Louisiana coastal restoration. These gifted high school students spent their spring break immersed in Mississippi River Delta culture, examining the causes of and solutions to our coastal crisis, and focusing on large-scale restoration.  The pilot program teams Brown University’s Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) with CRCL’s Louisiana knowledge and expertise, creating a unique educational experience that leaves an impression on future leaders headed to college.  

During the week-long course, students heard from leading experts in the region on subsidence, delta formation, flood protection and the state master plan. They went on boat tours given by long-time residents and coastal land managers.   They spoke with community organizers about issues facing communities like New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward and Grand Bayou, and the importance of coastal restoration to the culture and economy of each. They toured Port Fourchon, learning about the amount of oil and gas going through Louisiana’s ports. At the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), in Cocodrie, students did basic science involving plankton and blue crab sampling, as well as some good old fashioned kayaking in salt marsh. Not unimportantly, students were able to sample some south Louisiana favorites, including po-boys and red beans and rice.  

04 April 2013, 14:59