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National conservation coalition brings unified vision to Louisiana coastal restoration

A coalition of national environmental groups says the billions of dollars expected from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill penalties should go toward rapidly rebuilding Louisiana’s coastline.

During a teleconference Tuesday, the conservation groups outlined 19 priority projects detailed in their two new reports. David Muth, Gulf Program director for the National Wildlife Federation, says these projects are critical.

“We already have a crisis. We already have a massive land loss crisis. We’ve already lost history and function throughout the Gulf of Mexico. So, time is not on our side. We need to move forward and we need to move forward quickly,” Muth said.

The projects listed in the reports are all in the state's 2012 Master Plan for coastal restoration. They include major sediment and freshwater diversions on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, and a saltwater barrier on the Calcasieu River on the western side of the state.

The 2010 Gulf oil spill dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, affecting hundreds of miles of coastline.

The report is titled "Restoring the Mississippi Rover Delta for People and Wildlife: Recommended Projects and Priorities."

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.
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