Florida is facing the same problems with global warming that face Louisiana: as the beaches try to retreat inland with ocean rise, they are stopped by armoring on developments. For Louisiana, this means the end of the wet lands. For…
Historically, the flow of sediment in the Missouri River has been as important as the flow of water for a variety of river functions. The sediment has helped form a dynamic network of islands, sandbars, and floodplains, and provided habitats for native species[…]
Christopher M. Swarzenski, Thomas W. Doyle, Brian Fry, and Thomas G. Hargis. Biogeochemical response of organic-rich freshwater marshes in the Louisiana delta plain to chronic river water influx. Biogeochemistry (2008) 90:49–63.
These two papers raise serious doubts about the use of river diversions to restore marshland[…]
An interesting report on the special problems of children in disasters[…]
Green building strategies include minimizing building materials and building in ways that may increase risks from earthquakes, floods, hail, and wind. FEMA raises some of these issues in this report: Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings, FEMA P-798 /…
Insurance can be key in helping communities adapt to and manage the risks associated with climatic events, according to a report by Zurich-based Swiss Reinsurance Co[…]
See the real numbers on the funding and premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Click on a state for exposure.
The Stafford Act provides the financial framework for the federal disaster response. It is implemented through presidential declaration of an emergency. The basics of this process are outlined in report from CRS:
From the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Observer:
Corps of Engineers’ Steven Stockton
Avoiding the Single Line of Defense
Natural Hazards Observer • September 2010
“Where are the visionaries for the future? [Congress’] focus is on a million different areas. It’s not on water infrastructure or on disaster risk mitigation,” says Steven Stockton, director of Civil Works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[…]
Environmental groups have strong objections to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) because it encourages development in fragile coastal environments. This testimony also mentions the proposed Multiple Peril Insurance Act which create a wind insurance program like the NFIP. Environmental groups oppose this because…
In the late 1960s, the federal government set up a national flood insurance program to deal with the failure of the private market for flood insurance. (Failure in the sense that no one wanted to actuarially sound rates for flood insurance.) It…
“Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on…
(Hurricane Katrina resources) One of the post-Katrina myths is that no one expected the city to flood. It is true that no politician ever used the f-word when calling for evacuations. This was the single deadliest mistakes in the response…
The fifth anniversary of Katina is approaching, so this blog will devote some days to Katrina related posts. I sat out Katrina in Baton Rouge, where we got some damage, but where Rita was the more dangerous storm. LSU was…
Oliver Houck, Can We Save New Orleans? 19 TUL. ENVTL. L.J. 1-68 (2006) This is Professor Houck’s cri de coeur, written shortly after Katrina. It is worth reading to catch a sense of the times, and rereading if you have…
DNR Coastal Zone boundary study recommends additional regulated areas, new approaches to management
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Office of Coastal Management on Wednesday delivered the results of a science-based study on the inland boundary of the state’s coastal zone[…]
Grand Cayman, 18 August 2010 – The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has released the preliminary results of a study on the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) in the Caribbean. In releasing the results, CCRIF Chairman Milo Pearson indicated that they will “enable countries in the region to develop fact-based adaptation strategies that can be incorporated into national development plans to increase resilience against climate hazards.”[…]
This report was published in 2008. While there are problems with some of the assumptions, New Orleans is no better prepared today than in 2008 because none of the sociological factors have changed – denial is still the operative planning…
“Climate Change presents a national security threat that could undermine American interests at home and abroad. The effects of climate change are already degrading naval bases, drying up water resources, prompting mass migration[…]
NOAA State of the Climate 2009 – government master site The key finding of this report is that 2009 continues the warming trend, and that most of the additional heat is in the oceans. Greenland and Antarctica ice continues to recede.
Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet, Bill McKibben, Time Books (2010) First, my prejudice in reading this book – I was looking for a book to introduce law students to global warming and to the idea of adaption,…
Southern Louisiana is the most endangered land in the United States. Some risk is due to man made factors, but much of the risk is secondary to long-term geologic and weather cycles that have periodically raised and then inundated the…
Southern Louisiana is the most endangered land in the United States. Some risk is due to man made factors, but much of the risk is secondary to long-term geologic and weather cycles that have periodically raised and then inundated the United States well into the Midwest. The core threat to people and culture in Southern Louisiana is building on land that was already headed for inundation before there was any human intervention. Man has hastened the process, and, with levees, denied its existence.
This Blog will consider the factors affecting coastal areas including global warming. While due attention will be paid to short term issues such as evacuations and disaster response, the primary objective is to explore how man can retreat from endangered coastal areas in a orderly fashion. If such a retreat can be envisioned and enabled, then lives, money, and cultures can be saved. If not, pursuing current strategies of denial and patronage-driven public works projects will only assure that all three are lost.
Edward P. Richards, JD, MPP
Director, Program in Law, Science, and Public Health
Professor of Law
LSU Law Center