environment

CC BY-SA 4.0, CLARKE

A legislative effort to let chemical plants and other industrial companies keep certain environmental violations secret ended Wednesday, after the bill’s author pulled the legislation. 

The chemicals used to clean up the BP oil spill may not have been as bad as previous studies suggest -- that’s one of a few themes from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science (GOMOSES) Conference this week.

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, WWNO’s Travis Lux talks with Nola.com | The Times-Picayune environment reporter Tristan Baurick about the latest in oil spill science.

Plus, Tristan tells us about his search for the elusive black rail -- a threatened bird that’s found a home in the precarious marshes of coastal Louisiana.

Every summer, a dead zone forms in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an area with so little oxygen that marine life can’t survive, caused mostly by agricultural fertilizers that wash down the Mississippi River.

 

According to a new study from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), it’s much smaller this year. But, that might not necessarily be a sign of progress.

LSU AgCenter

I've always thought of gardening as a green activity, but there's an argument that some of the things we do when we garden are not necessarily as green as we might think. Consider our use of gas-powered equipment, over-application of fertilizers, and careless use of pesticides.

There are things we can do to keep our gardening efforts more sustainable with less of an environmental impact.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has been looking for ways to repeal the Clean Power Plan — the Obama administration's policy to reduce carbon emissions at local power plants.

LRN

Mary Lee Orr of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network talks about the state of the environment in Louisiana and the conflict over the Bayou Bridge pipeline.


LRN

Professor Nancy Rabalais of LSU's Energy, Coast and Environment Department talks about the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and its impact on the environment.


The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where the oxygen is so low that fish and shrimp can’t live.

 

Scientists say this year’s dead zone is 8,776 square miles now -- about the size of New Jersey. Over the last five years it’s averaged 5,543 square miles.

 

It’s caused largely by agricultural runoff from the Midwest, and brought downstream by the Mississippi River. That runoff is high in nitrates, from fertilizer, which causes algae to bloom. When the algae dies, it sucks oxygen out of the water.

Wikimedia Commons

Dan Collins is a Baton Rouge land man who has been battling the state in court over environmental violations he uncovered while working for the Department of Natural Resources. Collins talks about his whistle-blower lawsuit regarding Bayou Postillion.


Lt. Gen. Russel Honore
Restore Louisiana Now

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré joins us for the inaugural edition of Talk Louisiana. Honoré, who was regarded as a hero in leading the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, is now leading a group of environmental activists at the State Capitol. Honoré's Green Army will be active in the upcoming legislative session, pushing environmental reform. Honoré discusses the goals of the Green Army and provides his impressions about the state and national political system.


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