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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Levees Not War Meets LaCoastPost

10/28/09

LaCoastPostWe regretted missing the annual Katrina bloggerfest and live social networking known as Rising Tide 4 in New Orleans this past August—an omission we hope not to repeat. By way of making up for some of that fellow blogger community spirit, last week we took a long drive across the famous Pontchartrain Causeway (the world’s longest bridge) to meet with Dr. Len Bahr, founding editor of LaCoastPost and a former coastal adviser to many Louisiana governors.

Good conversation, a lunch of Church’s fried chicken + chilled Abita Turbodog, and Neil Young on the CD player . . .

We read LaCoastPost regularly—as does “everyone who’s anyone” in Louisiana coastal and environmental affairs (including, we suspect, some governors). We recommend the Post to anyone interested in the dire predicament of Louisiana’s scenic, fertile, hurricane-buffering wetlands, as well as in helpings of inside scoop on Louisiana politics. In addition to “scuttlebutt” updates—who’s reporting what, from the Times-Picayune to Science News—Len has recently run a series on the late Dr. Percy Viosca, “an unsung coastal hero” who foresaw Louisiana’s environmental predicament many decades ago. Also, a guest series by David Muth of the Jean Lafitte Historical Park and Preserve looks at why Florida’s Everglades has been made a national park but the nationally vital Mississippi River delta ecosystem ain’t got nuthin’ but land loss. Indeed, says Muth, “Louisiana has lost more landscape since 1930 (2,300 sq. mi.) than the current official size of the Everglades National Park (2,200).”

The conversation with Len Bahr was abundantly fruitful—he’s very generous with his expertise, as you can see on his site—and we’ll have more follow-ups in the weeks and months to come. He has many good ideas and extensive relationships with Louisiana scientists and public officials over several decades, and we wish for the fulfillment of his vision of a state government and federal agencies guided not by politics but by solid science, particularly the work of hydrologists, geophysicists, and other delta specialists. We share a conviction that southern Louisiana’s ecological predicament is too dire, with a doomsday clock ticking, for anything but a cooperative, all-hands-on-deck spirit to prevail. And we do mean to prevail.



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