A tropical wave is moving from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. The circulation is over land right now, but it is worth watching as it pushes west. It is not likely anything will develop untilmore>>
Dolly has developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but not a threat to the northern Gulf coast.more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. The traditionally slow months are transforming with the return of some big-name conventions. more>>
Labor Day moves political campaigns into a high gear, and local candidates were out in force kissing babies and shaking hands. more>>
Labor Day moves political campaigns into a high gear, and local candidates were out in force kissing babies and shaking hands and...tweeting? more>>
Fourchon Beach, La. -- Some scientists believe oil still staining Louisiana's coast has largely degraded to a relatively harmless state.
Forrest Travirca, a field inspector for the Wisner Foundation, begs to differ.
"Still has the consistency, still has the feel and it still has the smell," said Travica, holding up a coffee cup-sized tar ball that washed ashore near Port Fourchon last week.
Most of the port sits on Wisner property, which also includes nine miles of sandy beach.
As oil piled onto the beach in 2010, it also funneled through breeches and into marsh. BP installed five-foot high sheet piles to close off those routes, which now sit mostly buried under sand.
Although the Gulf pushed sand up against the piles, building new beach, it caused problems elsewhere.
"Areas that used to wash in and out of the marsh have been closed off, causing the water to find alternate routes," said Cathy Norman, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisner Foundation.
With the normal water flow altered, Norman said the Gulf has chewed away at the beach in places where there had not been erosion before. Norman and Travirca worry that, once the pilings are pulled up, oil trapped below will gush to the surface.
"The amount of oil that arrived on this beach and the amount of oil that stayed in the sub tidal zones was substantial," Travirca said.
The stakes go beyond damage to the beach.
"We really believe that this is one of the most crucial portions of the state of Louisiana," said Steve Green, a Wisner heir.
In 1914, the estate of Edward Wisner was donated to the city as a charitable trust, providing a source of income for local organizations. Even today, the beach and marsh on Wisner property provide protection for Port Fourchon, which generates roughly 20 percent of the nation's oil supply.
"We had memories of being able to run from the back of the beach to the water and run out of breath," Green said.
The Gulf claims about 50 feet of shoreline annually.
Help is on the way.
Port Fourchon plans to install a mile-and-a-half "burrito," a geo dune like the ones built into the Grand Isle sand dune that serves as a levee. The geo dune, filled with sand, takes the shape of a long tube topped with sand. The process is explained in this article from Earth magazine.
The Governor's Office of Coastal Activities has announced it will begin work later this year on a $70 million project to nourish and build nearly five miles of dunes.
In the long term, a quarter-of-a-billion dollar effort aims to restore much of the shoreline of the Caminada Headlands from Port Fourchon to just west of Grand Isle.
The state has secured money for the two smaller projects, but the larger project remains unfunded.
"We're hoping that it might rise to the top and be funded with some of the BP funds," Norman said.
Half-hour documentary to detail the fight to save Louisiana's coast, a way of life and vital natural hurricane defenses.more>>
Each year, Louisiana loses 25-35 square miles of its coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 1932, the state has shed 1,900 square miles, or an area the size of Delaware.Tonight, Fox 8 presentsmore>>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffeymore>>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.more>>
For some, it may be hard to believe that nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and left major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people will never forget where theymore>>
Friday marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi.more>>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.more>>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.more>>