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Disasters & Extreme WeatherNaturePolicies & Politics

Saving Louisiana's Coastline : The Government and Coastal Scientists Need to Work in Harmony Now

Louisiana

Louisiana state and top scientists are actively brainstorming how they will stop the oil from destroying Barataria Bay, a huge estuary and major fishery in the southeastern part of Louisiana.

Now officials are aggressively trying to carry out a plan they created two months ago to save the fragile ecosystems along the Louisiana coastline. The plan they are pushing for is to construct rock dikes across the many large tidal inlets between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico to first stop and block and then capture and retain the oil. The project costs roughly $30 million and requires 100,000 tons of rock of which, BP has agreed to pay. The plan is supported by the Louisiana government, however the other day in a well researched uproar, scientists and many independent experts on coastal wetlands, together with the Army Corps of Engineers rejected and denied a permit for the project.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have added that they reject the plan because the rock will destroy the barrier islands during the stormy season rendering the rock protection from oil useless. The scientists insist the rock plan is wrong because of environmental concerns about the potential problem of the rock barriers to create large scale, and long term erosion and the breaching of Barataria Bay’s existing barrier islands.

While the governor will keep pressing for the rock barrier, experts from the Pontchartrain Institute hope to look for other ways to stop the oil from getting into the marshes explaining that laying rock across passes is not the only option.

The Federal Government and coastal science community must work in harmony together now more than ever to stop the spill from destroying our nations delicate Louisiana coast. Why is it that so much debating has to take place before real solutions are carried out? As the oil continues to creep along our shorelines, we need to be actively engaged in lasting solutions.

What is your opinion? Do you think that this task of trying to stop the oil from reaching Barataria Bay with rock walls is doable? Or do we need to be actively considering other immediate alternatives? In this case how do you see environmental science and environmental policies harmonizing, and problem solving for the greatest good of all concerned in the Louisiana region?

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One comment
  1. PKaplan131

    I have for weeks before the Gulf hurricane season urged our government and the media to hire our own super-tankers, encircle the well at a safe radius (10-15 miles) and pump surface oil onboard to be processed. We must have tanker capacity sufficient to keep up with the flow rate until the well is secured. New Orleans is a deep water port. Now after 80 days does this super skimmer on site really need to be "tested" for the quality of its discharge water? I can tell you now it will not be potable drinking quality. Stop wasting valuable time and put this boat to work. The EPA and other agencies are delaying again because they are in bed with BP. A Whale has completed it's testing off the Pourtugese Coast. BP just does not want to pay for it's use quite yet. When this gusher began the Obama administration refused help from 10 other countries with super tankers. If our response had been immediate the damage to our beaches and wildlife would be minimal.

    The ex-president of Shell Oil suggested this a month ago on CNN but was apparently ignored. The Saudis used super tankers and retrieved 80% of their surface oil. They also knew that the use of dispersants would render the oil unretrievable, nor did they discuss it for 2 months. BP is still using dispersants. The myriad of US agencies involved in this disaster are directionless…….they get in each other's way while dolphins and precious turtles die.

    The Coast Guard could coordinate the super tanker operations instead of counting life jackets. Get the oil off the water now and stop measuring it, discussing it, flying over it, testing, or should we wait for another tropical storm in the Gulf, Sir? The reason the oil is washing ashore is because the tides scatter the rising oil at about 3 mph. By the time the crude surfaces it is far out of sight. The skimmer boats at the well site are useless except at slack tide and are there so BP can claim they are there. They should operate as close to shore as possible to protect the beaches and marshes. Residents hardly ever see them close in…just oil.

    As for our president, I suggest that you deal with this mess Mr. Obama before we ruin an ocean. History will judge this disaster as your legacy because of your failure to act. You are a mere observer motivated by politics. The White House comment line in 202-456-1111 but no one is listening.

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