The Bob Blog

Here’s a FEMA map that actually delivers good news for New Orleans


Apr 6, 2016


Originally posted on The Lens on March 28th. See original post here. Green will become the favorite color for thousands of New Orleans property owners when the new FEMA flood maps finally become official at the end of the month. That’s because green is the code for areas that will move out of flood zones […]

Can sediment diversions from river keep up with land loss, rising Gulf?


Mar 3, 2016


  Originally posted on The Lens on March 2nd, 2016. See original article here. As the state prepares a required five-year update to its long-term Coastal Master Plan, new research has revived three questions that some experts have had for years. The Lens is looking at each question individually this week. Today:   Is there enough […]

Increasing estimates for sea-level rise bring questions on coastal plan


Mar 3, 2016


Originally posted on The Lens on March 1st, 2016. Read original article here. When the state unveiled the the first detailed Coastal Master Plan in 2012, a selling point for the 50-year $50-billion effort was that it would be building more wetlands than the rising Gulf of Mexico would be swallowing by 2061. But all along, some noted researchers suggested […]

Levee board argues in federal appeals court for revival of landmark lawsuit


Mar 3, 2016


Originally posted on The Lens on February 29th, 2016. See original post here. Attorneys for the local levee authority Monday urged the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling dismissing their suit against oil and gas companies for wetlands damage. They claimed the case never should have been taken out […]

Governor names new coastal czar to guide state’s 50-year wetlands projects


Mar 3, 2016


Originally posted on The Lens on February 16th, 2016. Read original article here. Gov. John Bel Edwards has named civil engineer Michael Ellis the new executive director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the agency in charge of the state’s Coastal Master Plan. He replaces Kyle Graham, a wetland biologist who directed the coastal effort […]

Oops. Voter-approved property tax renewal doesn’t make it on annual bill for Algiers


Mar 3, 2016


Algiers property owners are about to live an old maxim: If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. In this case, it’s that annual property-tax bill that recently arrived. Algiers residents who noticed the bill was a little less than a year ago can stop smiling. Turns out 6.35 mills for flood […]

About Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered the people, stories, and environmental issues of Louisiana’s wetlands for more than 35 years for The Times-Picayune as well as for national publications. He now writes for The Lens. An avid outdoorsman, he has spent much of his adult life in the marshes and swamps of South Louisiana, charting the demise of wetlands he calls “my office and playground.”

The Problem

Since the 1930s levees on the river and canals dredged for oil, gas and shipping have destroyed half of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands – some 2000 square miles. We’re still losing that precious habitat at the rate of 12 to 16 square miles each year.