Speakers at last week's State of the Coast or SOC 2014 conference at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans balanced grim projections for Louisiana's low-lying areas with possible solutions.
BP oil and tar that washed ashore or was uncovered in Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Bernard and other Louisiana parishes during Hurricane Isaac is settling into wetlands and shutting some public beaches.
On Sept. 3, when Jiles returned to Braithwaite after evacuating to Houston with a caravan of relatives, he found his neighborhood cordoned off because it was within a mile of Stolthaven. "We were under mandatory evacuation," he said.
Everyone in our French Quarter neighborhood today is talking about Plaquemines Parish. Hurricane Isaac breached their levees, among others outside the federal levee system, and we have nothing but empathy.
Congressional delegates from Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states hope the bipartisan RESTORE Act will be passed soon and before a possible BP settlement with the feds so that BP fines go to coastal states and not Washington's coffers.
A New Orleans open house held by Louisiana's coastal restoration authority last week on a draft of the state's 2012 Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast drew mixed, earnest and sometimes vehement comments.
Southeast Louisiana beach lovers -- upset about losing last summer's surf to the BP spill -- may be eager to grab a towel on the first, warm weekend and head down to Grand Isle. But some local observers feel the cleaning effort should continue.
Coastal advocates like much, though not all, of what they've read in the national, oil-spill commission report released this month, and instead of stashing the document in a desk drawer, they plan to stay engaged and speak up about its ideas.
The blowout accident is just one more in a seemingly endless string of environmental insults and injuries. Life on the bayou gets harder each year and a rich and unique heritage is slowly eroding away.