Ehab Meselhe, a professor in the Tulane Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering, has received a $125,000 grant to plan the creation of an online forecasting tool to help scientists, ecologists and engineers evaluate how freshwater diversion and other coastal restorations projects may impact marine mammals, shorebirds, barrier islands and fisheries from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Meselhe received one of 20 planning grants totaling $2.3 million for a project that aims to develop a management and forecast system directly accessible to resource managers through a web-based dashboard. “It’s a preliminary step toward the development of urgently needed management tools for natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico,” Meselhe said. “It was very competitive, and I am so excited to receive one of these planning grants.”
The grant from the NOAA Restore Science Program aims to fund research that reduces the uncertainty around the management of natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico region. “The team of resource managers and researchers that Dr. Meselhe has assembled will work together to develop a publicly accessible river management and forecast system to explore the tradeoffs between different restoration strategies in the lower Mississippi River as well as examine how to optimize river inflows to reach restoration targets,” said Julien Lartigue, director of the Science Program.
Writer Sarah Broom is from New Orleans, but not the part of New Orleans where she spoke on Tuesday (Feb. 4), the famed, oak-lined streets of Uptown. She’s from a yellow house on Wilson Avenue in New Orleans East. Her experience in that house — and what it says about New Orleans, the United States, and our relationship to our environment — is the subject of her debut book “The Yellow House: A Memoir.” It won the 2019 National Book Award for nonfiction. Broom was interviewed in Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane University’s Uptown campus by Atlantic staff writer Van Newkirk, another potent investigator of place and environment.
Twelfth Night is the official end of the Christmas season, as well as the beginning of the Carnival season. So it’s time to take down the Christmas trees. If you want your tree to be recycled, here’s what you need to do:
• Remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights and the tree stand. • Place the tree at the location of your regular garbage collection before 5 a.m. on your second regularly scheduled second collection day. That’s either Thursday, Jan.
There will be no curbside trash or recycling collection on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. Curbside trash collection will resume on the next regularly scheduled collection day. If you have Wednesday and Saturday garbage pickup, your trash will be picked up Saturday as scheduled. For areas with Wednesday recycling collection, Metro Disposal and Richard’s Disposal will conduct special collection days after Christmas (for all those cardboard boxes and wrapping paper). Metro Disposal will collect recycling on Thursday, Dec.
In the heart of Gentilly, 25 acres of Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded space was recently granted to build Mirabeau Water Gardens, a place where water conservation will be modeled on a larger-scale. For Loyola professors Aimée Thomas and Bob Thomas, this was a dream ten years in the making. The idea for the grant stemmed from Loyola’s relationship with the Sisters of Saint Joseph, who donated the space to the city when they left it after Hurricane Katrina. “They actually wanted Loyola to take over the property once they deemed that they weren’t going to be there anymore to use it for environmental education,” Director of the Environment Program Aimée Thomas said. Since Loyola didn’t have the resources to manage the land, the grant was issued to the city of New Orleans and funded by the university, Entergy Corporation, AT&T and Waggonner & Ball Architects.
The United Houma Nation is a Louisiana state-recognized tribe trying to maintain its unique culture during dramatic climatic, environmental and socioeconomic change. A new project awarded to Tulane University researchers from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine aims to enable the United Houma Nation to determine how to support its citizens to adapt to climate-related and other short- and long-term stressors while maintaining the integrity of its community and culture. The three-year, $2.1 million research project was awarded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Gulf Research Program’s Thriving Communities Grants 5 funding opportunity. Tribal citizens have sustained livelihoods and communities in southeast Louisiana’s shifting landscape for generations. Today, however, ongoing coastal land loss combined with the cumulative impacts of health, social, and economic disparities pose new challenges for the tribe.
Dozens of young people, from toddlers to teenagers, staged a protest against climate change on Friday morning at the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles avenues. They were part of a worldwide youth movement known as the “Global Climate Strike,” where students walk out of school in order to push politicians to take action to combat climate change and reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. “We can persuade the grown-ups,” said 13-year-old Maya Verhaal. “Since they make the choices, we can persuade them to change this world.”
Audubon Louisiana, in partnership with the Energy Future New Orleans Coalition, is kicking off its campaign for a Resilient Renewable Portfolio Standard New Orleans with a community meeting tonight. The event for City Council Districts A and B will be held at the Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Center, 3900 Gen. Taylor St., 2nd floor, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The group plans to ask the New Orleans City Council to support a strong Renewable Portfolio Standard. “By committing to 100% renewable energy by 2040, New Orleans can become a leader in the clean energy economy while addressing the greatest challenges faced by residents,” the coalition states. Organizer Angie Torres will be guiding the meeting, and Monique Harden of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice is a guest speaker. Community members are also invited to speak.
Entergy and the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority are partnering to install solar panels on the streetcar barn on Willow Street, part of a larger effort to generate solar energy from the rooftops of publicly-owned buildings across New Orleans. For details about the project, see the news release from Entergy below. In another move to harness the power of the sun where empty commercial rooftops once stood, Entergy New Orleans and the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority have reached agreement to install solar panels on the roof of the agency’s Carrollton Streetcar Barn. The 300-kilowatt system will feed directly onto the Entergy New Orleans electric distribution grid for the benefit of all customers. The agreement is part of Entergy New Orleans’ 5-megawatt commercial-scale rooftop solar project, which was approved by the New Orleans City Council last year.
Southern live oaks make up the vast majority of the trees along St. Charles Avenue. The proportion of live oaks has continued to increase over the years, a tree survey has found. The St. Charles Avenue Association retained Bayou Tree Service, its official partner, to perform a tree survey in a continuation of surveys that have been conducted since 1992.
As the city and state released statements on the removal of hazardous waste from beneath the surface of a Gert Town street, WVUE Fox 8 News revealed documents indicating the Mayor’s Office and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality knew the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had detected 100 times the normal level of radium at the street surface. Residents of the area surrounding the site filed a class-action lawsuit in June claiming the city knew about the radioactive materials as far back as 2013 and did nothing. In a 2010 report, the EPA estimated that there are about 15 brownfields — former industrial sites with potential contamination — in Gert Town and 40 in Central City. Mayor’s Office statement on the hazardous waste removal:
The City announced Wednesday that the final four of six total containers with underground material from the work site in the Lowerline and Coolidge area have been removed for transport to Anders, Texas. In May 2018, the Cantrell administration learned about the presence of underground material producing radiation below the road surface at the intersection of Lowerline Street and Coolidge Court.