The Bob Blog

New storm-surge maps from Weather Service show worst-case models


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on December 21st, 2015. See original post here. Map makers often use red to denote danger, to sound alarms. But on the latest National Weather Service map showing storm surge in Louisiana from a worst-case Category 3 hurricane, red does one more thing: It shocks. The red indicates storm surge of greater than […]

Levee board lawsuit against oil and gas alive and well, though moving slowly


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on December 4th, 2015. See original post here. During a recent meeting of the regional flood authority, commissioner Paul Tilly asked for an update on the panel’s lawsuit filed in July 2013  against oil and gas companies for destroying wetlands that once protected its levees. When told oral arguments on an appeal were possible […]

To seek fed support, study projects economic cost of coastal loss


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on December 2nd, 2015. See original post here. Continued coastal land loss in Louisiana could cost the state and national economies tens of billions dollars a year, and it could allow a single hurricane to deliver a $133 billion blow to the state, according to a new study by Louisiana State University […]

Katrina helped usher in an acceptance and use of green infrastructure


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on December 2nd, 2015. See original post here. One sign that Prisca Weems represents something new and surprising in New Orleans is her never-before-seen title in city government: Stormwater Manager. And if that doesn’t get your attention, the things Weems is saying certainly will. She’s is talking about how residents […]

BP settlement brings unprecedented money to coastal restoration efforts


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on November 12th, 2015. See original post here. As he looked at the amount of money coming to Louisiana from BP’s settlement of the Deepwater Horizon pollution disaster, David Muth shook his head in wonder. He saw tens of millions going to rebuild dolphin populations, hundreds of millions for birds […]

State coastal authority OKs two diversions, but construction unlikely for three years


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on October 21st, 2015. See original here. The head of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has long said his agency would recommend building controversial river sediment diversions only if research showed that possible gains in wetlands and storm protection was greater than any harm caused to the fishing industry. […]

Details of BP settlement show oil spill caused trillions of marine wildlife deaths


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on October 16th, 2015. See original post here. When news broke this month that oil giant BP had agreed to pay $20.8 billion in fines for its Deepwater Horizon disaster, the figure seemed huge. But when placed against the number of fish and wildlife deaths BP has conceded its spill […]

Date set for final decision on construction of river diversion, as research continues


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on September 29th, 2015. See original post here. The final decision on whether to start building the first river diversion in the state’s coastal restoration effort is set to be made Oct. 21. Kyle Graham, head of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, said his agency’s governing board will decide that day whether to […]

Experts: Talk now about drastic changes, or deal with coastal crisis later


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on September 15th, 2015. See original post here. The mouth of the Mississippi River should be moved north to Port Sulphur or English Turn and communities south of those points eventually will have to be abandoned if other parts of  southeast Louisiana are to have a future into the next […]

River levees doing double duty, but differing standards gives feds a break


Dec 21, 2015


Originally posted on The Lens on September 4th, 2015. See original post here. In most cases a two-for-one deal would be a money saver for both partners in a business arrangement. That might not be the case when it comes to the area’s new $14.5 billion storm surge protection system. Some 34.6 miles of the […]

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.