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Restore the Wetlands. Reinforce the Levees.

Posts Tagged ‘army corps of engineers’

Interview with Mark Schleifstein
Pulitzer Prize-winning coauthor of
‘Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans
and the Coming Age of Superstorms’

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Mark Schleifstein in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, 2005. In the background is a barge that broke through the breach in the wall of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal into the neighborhood during Hurricane Katrina, Aug. 29, 2005, crushing the front end of a school bus (far right). Photograph by Ellis Lucia, courtesy of the Times-Picayune.

Mark Schleifstein in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, 2005. In the background is a barge that broke through the breach in the wall of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal into the neighborhood during Hurricane Katrina, Aug. 29, 2005, crushing the front end of a school bus (far right). Photograph by Ellis Lucia, courtesy of the Times-Picayune.

Mark Schleifstein joined the Times-Picayune in 1984 as an environmental reporter after five years at the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi. Since 1996 he and his Times-Picayune colleague John McQuaid have written numerous major environmental series for the paper, most recently in January 2006. Schleifstein and McQuaid won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their series “Oceans of Trouble: Are the World’s Fisheries Doomed?”—a comprehensive eight-day series about the threats to the world’s fish supply, including the effects of coastal wetlands erosion on fish in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. In 1998 the Picayune published their series “Home Wreckers: How the Formosan Termite Is Devastating New Orleans,” a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer.

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America’s Infrastructure: And Unto Dust We Shall Return?

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Our friends at the American Society of Civil Engineers are concerned like everyone else about the catastrophic collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. ASCE is calling attention to the degraded condition of America’s roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, and proposes an Action Plan for the 110th Congress, including the establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission.

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A Brief History of Bush Cuts to Flood Control

Monday, June 18th, 2007

From 2001 to 2005, the Bush administration’s budget allocations for New Orleans area hurricane protection averaged one-fifth of the amount requested by Louisiana officials. In the 2005 budget, Louisiana requested about $26 million; even after the hurricane season of 2004—one of the worst in decades—the Bush White House offered only about $4 million, an amount that the U.S. spends about every 20 minutes in Iraq. (Current U.S. expenditures in Iraq now run at approximately $10 million per hour, roughly $12 billion per month.)

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Interview with Ivor van Heerden, author of ‘The Storm:
What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina:
The Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist’

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Ivor van Heerden and Mike Bryan

Viking, 2006 • $25.95
paperback $15.00
www.thestorm-katrina.com

IVOR VAN HEERDEN of the LSU Hurricane Center is familiar to millions who watched the Katrina news reports as the straight-talking hurricane expert with a Dutch accent (actually he’s South African). In The Storm, he has written a detailed, analytical, and compelling account of Hurricane Katrina and its terrible impact on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. He shows what happened-and what didn’t have to happen.

What sets The Storm apart from other Katrina books is that van Heerden, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, goes on to propose a workable and affordable plan for Category 5 strength storm protection, modeled on the Netherlands’ successful system: a combination of reinforced levees, storm gates, and coastal restoration, including barrier islands.

On the publication of The Storm, we asked Dr. van Heerden to elaborate on some of his principal concerns about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Army Corps of Engineers’ repair of the levees around New Orleans, and his hopes for political solutions to Louisiana’s environmental predicament.

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