Sobering view of lost wetlands from an egret’s point of view

Louisiana wetlands under siege by the Gulf, photo by Kelly Wagner, courtesy of National Wildlife Federation

Louisiana wetlands are under siege by the Gulf, photo by Kelly Wagner, courtesy of National Wildlife Federation

For those who don’t know, the state of Louisiana has lost and continues to lose large amounts of land to the sea every year. Since 1900, Louisiana has lost more than 1 million acres of wetlands and barrier shoreline.

It’s easy to ignore if you aren’t from there )and perhaps even if you are). Even with restoration efforts, progress towards reclaiming the state’s wetlands are slow.

From the perspective of native wildlife such as the egret, the effects of climate change and the rising sea are devastatingly difficult. Check out this article for more details.

Restoring the Gulf beyond Deepwater Horizon

Volunteers help plant and restore a salt marsh in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

Since 1900, Louisiana has lost more than 1 million acres of wetlands and barrier shoreline. In just the past 50 years, more than 1,500 square miles of coastal Louisiana disappeared. The state could lose an additional 1,000 square miles of land by 2050– an area roughly the size of Rhode Island.

Since the oil spill of 2010, there has been some marshland die-off in critical marine life habitat areas like Barataria Basin. Birds and animals flock to the smaller islands of Barataria to mate and give birth. These islands were heavily oiled, resulting also in partial washing away in those areas.

To find out about the restoration efforts and challenges facing Louisiana and its wildlife, see http://bit.ly/I7xs0M.

Long stretch of oil seen in Gulf of Mexico

Boat travels through oil spotted in West Bay just west of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River Friday October 22, 2010. photo by Matthew Hinton / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Environmentalists have repeatedly said there’s still oil out there and that the government was too quick to re-open fishing areas of the Gulf. Now there’s proof.

Louisiana fishermen have found a miles long string of floating oil that’s heading towards fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta. According to the Times Picayune “boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up.”

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Another oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

The location in the Gulf of Mexico where Mariner Energy's oil rig exploded

 

An oil rig off the coast of Louisiana has exploded just west of BP’s disastrous oil spill and is burning, according to a report from the US Coast Guard.  

The platform, owned by Mariner Energy Inc., is located in shallow water (around 340 feet deep), unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig.  

Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer John Edwards said all 13 people aboard the Mariner rig were found floating in the water, sticking close together.  

For more on this breaking story, see http://3.ly/7zUc.