Blogging for a Healthy Gulf

 
 
A recent editorial on an Energy Transfer Partners pipeline spoke to the benefits of the large crude oil export pipeline. These benefits are advertisements. What we need are solid promises written into a contract with the public in an Environmental Impact Statement. Pipeline advocates have ignored the cost to Louisiana--our economy and our land. Our wetlands and waters are much more valuable than the company has let on. Louisiana wetlands provide billions in ecological services like flood protection every year.

In Louisiana's coastal master plan, wetland forest is about $115,000 per acre to replace. This pipeline's damages are about $69 Million in trees alone. That's before accounting for flood damages. What will be the impact to drainage of removing and culverting many streams in Jefferson Davis, Acadia, and Lafayette Parishes? What will be the added cost to the public for absorbing this new

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The Beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin

Three permitting agencies have held two public hearings about one Bayou Bridge. January’s joint Army Corps and LDEQ hearing hosted over four hundred concerned citizens, for five and a half hours. Last week’s LDNR hearing lasted six! Now these agencies must deny Bayou Bridge’s water and wetland permits.

The crude oil pipeline has no place in coastal Louisiana. No public need exists for the pipe. The oil is for export and profit. Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco, and Phillips 66 know this.

Despite continual claims from pipeline supporters about pipeline safety, reality persists. Just a day after LDNR’s hearing, a Phillips 66 pipeline in Paradis exploded during routine maintenance. Josh Helms of Thibodaux is presumed dead.

We also learned this past week about a neglected oil spill in the Atchafalaya Basin. Though the incident occurred in August, the operating company didn’t follow proper response protocol. Roughly half a...

 

Last month, GRN and Vanishing Earth flew with Southwings to check up on our coast and our Gulf.  The unreported oil we found was routine, and routinely frustrating. We also witnessed the river building new land, giving new cause for hope.

With the eagle eyes of Vanishing Earth, we spotted a sheen by the Poydras Energy Platform in Breton Sound.  Breton Sound has some of the highest density of oil spills in the United States, due to its rustbucket rigs.

Poydras Energy Partners

In this case, the company denied responsibility for the sheen.


With a simple "no", their word overrules our photograph. Without a liable party, there was no clean up of this oil. This kind of negligence, on the part of companies and the government, is 'business as usual.'

We spotted this sheen, and noted the time and location, and kept...

 

brydes whaleThe Gulf of Mexico is home to a great baleen whale – the critically endangered Bryde’s whale. Today, the Gulf’s great baleen whale population includes fewer than 100 individuals. Take action now to protect the Bryde’s whale!

Last month, we asked you to sign a petition to protect these magnificent creatures – today, we have another opportunity to ensure that our voices are heard. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), has reopened the comment period for an additional 15 days. These majestic whales need protection - tell NMFS to protect the Gulf’s great baleen whales.

The 2010 BP drilling disaster hit the Bryde’s whale population hard. Estimates state that the disaster killed nearly 20% of the Bryde’s whale population in the Gulf. The survival of the remaining whales are at risk from the Gulf’s active oil and...

 

Secretary Jack Montoucet, LDWF

The past year sure has been a whirlwind for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. New administrations, frustrated anglers, and plenty of disagreements have left newly-appointed Secretary Jack Montoucet with a sink full of dirty dishes. However, the newly appointed Secretary has a promising message to anyone concerned with the state’s wildlife and fisheries- “you have a seat at the table”.

That is what Secretary Montoucet told our group on Wednesday, February 1st around the ‘Avery Island’ at Bourbon House.  GRN’s Gulf Fish Forever campaign organized the meeting between LDWF and local chefs in order to have a conversation with the Secretary about how we will all move forward after a rocky 2016. Most will agree that things got ugly, and sometimes emotions got the better of those involved. However, Secretary Montoucet remains positive and is accepting his new position with open arms.

The Gulf Fish Forever campaign continuously...

 
Maurepas swamp

Today is World Wetlands Day, and we're proud to celebrate by announcing a new coalition - the Wetland Forest Initative - dedicated to conserving, restoring, and improving Southern wetland forests. Check out the press release below for more on this exciting new initiative. 


On World Wetlands Day, a diverse group of stakeholders have joined together to announce a major multi-state effort to conserve one of America’s most precious natural resources, wetland forests of the South. The Wetland Forest Initiative is a new, collaborative effort dedicated to conserving, restoring, and improving the condition of Southern wetland forests.

The initiative will work with landowners, communities, conservation organizations, and government agencies to create a future where there are abundant and healthy wetland forests for the benefit of local communities and native wildlife. A majority of wetland forests have been lost due to conversion to agriculture and real estate development in the last...

 

Have you heard the news? The Trump administration took action to try to fast-track the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and Dakota Access oil pipeline. 

Millions of people have shown their opposition to these pipelines, and it’s up to us to make sure these projects do not happen. Two weeks ago, we stood together against the Bayou Bridge pipeline, and it’s time to stand together again.

On February 8, there will be a second hearing to gather public comments on the proposed Bayou Bridge pipeline,and we need you to show up again. Not only is this the largest pipeline we’ve seen in Louisiana, it’s also the last leg of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Bayou Bridge Department of Natural Resources Public Hearing
Wednesday, February 8
Rally at 5:00 p.m. - Hearing begins at 6:00 p.m.
...

 

Bayou BridgeThis week, the Trump administration issued orders to fast-track the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and Dakota Access oil pipeline.

For years, we have resisted these and other pipelines - including the Bayou Bridge pipeline right here in Louisiana. 

Trump’s new order won’t stop our movements. The people of this country are saying loud and clear that our communities, waters and livelihoods are more important than corporate profits. Click here to say “No” to the Bayou Bridge pipeline!
 
The Bayou Bridge pipeline, which is backed by the same company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, would snake across 11 parishes, destroying flood-buffering wetlands and threatening drinking water sources for hundreds of thousands of people. Louisiana can’t afford another pipeline cutting through our wetlands and we can’t afford...

 
Pascagoula Drought Resiliency Project Scoping Meeting
Big Cedar Creek Lakes Project Meeting, Lucedale, Mississippi Jan 24 2017

On Tuesday January 24th in Lucedale, Mississippi, the Mobile District Corps of Engineers and consulting company AECOM hosted a scoping meeting for the Pascagoula River Drought Resiliency Project Environmental Impact Statement. The Mobile Corps District’s Deputy Commander, Col. Landon Ramey spoke to the crowd of 200 about what the Corps needed from the attendees. He invited written and recorded comments that helped identify the scope of issues their work should cover, and gave a very general overview of the process and timeline for creating a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). It is likely a two or three year process. Dozens in the crowd wore “No Fake Lake” stickers, signifying their opposition.


The project would build a pair of lakes on Pascagoula River tributaries Big Cedar Creek and Little Cedar Creek in southern George County. The lakes would be for recreational use, presumably managed by the Pat Harrison Waterway District...

 

baleen whaleDid you know that the Gulf of Mexico is home to a great baleen whale – the critically endangered Gulf Brydes whale – that can grow to the size of tractor trailer? These whales are an amazing sight to see. Sadly their population has shrunk to fewer than 100 individuals, most of which reside in an area off the coast of Florida and Alabama known as the DeSoto Canyon.

Right now, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), is considering protecting these majestic creatures. Tell NMFS to protect this magnificent whale before it is too late!

This Thursday, the National Marine Fisheries Service is hosting a public hearing to decide the future of the Gulf's great baleen whale - take action now and tell them to protect this precious whale.

Gulf Bryde’s whales were hit hard by oil from...

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