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The state of Louisiana is working to reverse much of the damage done by humans. They have an elaborate plan to spend billions to try to reclaim some of the coastal wetlands using more sediment that comes down the Mississippi River by “diverting” it and allowing it to flow into the marshes more naturally. The state is concerned about the more than 2 million people in the region. Louisiana’s working coast “annually sends more than $120 billion in goods and services to the rest of the United States and exports $36.2 billion internationally.” And it is central to the nation’s oil and gas industry and fisheries — it supplies 90% of the nation’s outer continental shelf oil and gas, 20% of the nation’s annual waterborne commerce, and 26% (by weight) of the continental U.S. commercial fisheries landings.
How Do They Know?
The researchers spent years extracting hundreds of “sediment cores,” or thick cylinders of mud and peat, from across the Mississippi Delta. They used these samples to analyze the sediment to determine the history of the region stretching back thousands of years. Consequently, they determined when the wetlands were created, and saw how after the last ice age much of the region was simply open water. Donald Boesch, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Maryland who has closely studied the Louisiana wetlands, told The Post that the study is “well-documented, analyzed and reasoned,” also pointed out that the marshes have been less vulnerable in recent years than scientists expected for reasons that are not well-understood. The authors are pessimistic that any short term slow down of wetlands loss is a sign of a change — they believe that it is inevitable that they will be submerged.
The LA Times’ Susanne Rust reported on a brewing controversy surrounding China’s notorious “distant water” fishing fleet — it’s 17,000 vessels strong and has conducted dubious fishing operations off the coasts of West Africa, Argentina, and Japan.
Teresa Ish is a Senior Program Officer at the Walton Family Foundation, where she oversees the foundation’s work conserving oceans and fisheries in the U.S. and through changing market practices to improve sustainability. Here are some of the highlights of the interview: On Persuading Businesses to Be More Sustainable: “If you run a seafood business […]
By David Helvarg & Jason Scorse Like millions of Americans, Delaware’s Vice President Joe Biden and his family love the coast. They spend their summers visiting their family beach house in a typical Delaware shore town with a boardwalk, small shops, bars, and restaurants. Its expansive beaches attract countless families, the adjacent state park is […]
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