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8 posts from November 2011

  • 11/29/2011
  • Posted by staff

Gulf Restoration Network's Interactive Postcard: "We need more hands"

An interactive postcard, created by M&C Saatchi Switzerland for The New-Orleans based Gulf Restoration Network, is aimed at giving the recipient first hand experience of the situation that remains in the Gulf of Mexico, over a year after the major oil spill there from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

  • 11/25/2011
  • Posted by staff

New Orleans Restoration Project Will Increase Resiliency, Create Jobs

By Elizabeth Skree, Environmental Defense Fund

Central Wetlands Assimilation Project groundbreaking ceremony (Credit: Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation)

On Nov. 10, the City of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish broke ground on the important and innovative $10 million Central Wetlands Assimilation Project. On hand for the ceremony were New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, members of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board and approximately 75 others representing community organizations, environmental non-profits and other interested parties. All agree the project is a critical first step towards restoring the entire Central Wetlands Unit, mitigating historical impacts of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) channel, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and creating new jobs in restoration and ecotourism.

The Central Wetlands Assimilation Project is a vital step to restore impacted wetlands in the Central Wetlands Unit, a 30,000-acre area east of downtown New Orleans, containing open water that was once a thriving cypress forest just over the levee from urban communities like the Lower 9th Ward and Chalmette. READ MORE >>

via www.mississippiriverdelta.org

  • 11/22/2011
  • Posted by staff

L.A. Kids Lend a Hand – Many Hands! – at the Lower 9's Guerilla Garden (VIDEO)

Very cool new video  from Temple Isaiah, a synagogue religious school in West Los Angeles, and their recent service learning trip to New Orleans - with lots of scenes from in and around the Lower Ninth Ward. Thanks for your time, your spirit and your hard work!

New Orleans Service Learning Trip, Nov. 2011 from Temple Isaiah on Vimeo.

  • 11/20/2011
  • Posted by staff

New Report: New Orleans' 'Solar in Action'

Solar in ActionDid you know that New Orleans is one of 25 Solar America Cities nationally? Launched in 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designated the Crescent City and other major metrolitan areas for financial and technical assistance to help develop comprehensive approaches for increasing solar energy use. DOE just came out with a special report on progress made to date for New Orleans, and the challenges and opportunities going forward, titled Solar in Action. The report also highlights efforts to educate and train a solar workforce, to streamline the permitting process, city-wide net metering rules, and more.

The Lower Ninth Ward features a growing number of rooftop solar arrays - thanks to a generous donation by Sharp Solar in 2007 to nine Holy Cross homeowners plus Lower 9th Ward NENA. In addition, Global Green's Holy Cross Project and the Make It Right Project feature dozens of solar arrays to generate electricity for homeowners in the Lower 9.

Go to Solar America Communities for more information on this important initiative.

  • 11/15/2011
  • Posted by staff

Sewage latest weapon in Louisiana's coastal fight (VIDEO)

Great piece on Bayou Bienvenue restoration recently on New Orleans' WVUE!

John Taylor, a lifelong ninth ward resident, recalls trapping for nutria in the 1960's in the area of swamp known as the "central wetlands."

The cypress swamp of Taylor's childhood looked like something out of a different world, a 30,000 acre area of lush forests and coastal marsh.

Taylor, now 64, watched in dismay over the years as salt water intruding from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet killed the trees.

Katrina wiped out what was left.

"You couldn't see to the other side," Taylor said, as he looked out over an open bay where forest once stood.

Thursday, Taylor was among those wielding a shovel as politicians broke ground on a project designed to bring the first little patch of that swamp back to life.

The $10 million wetlands assimilation project will let loose treated sewage to act as fertilizer.

"It really sends a message to the rest of America that it's critically important that we rebuild all of New Orleans, all of St. Bernard," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told a crowd of onlookers.

To demonstrate the concept, New Orleans will build a man-made swamp over 20 acres, including cypress trees planted up to 1,200 feet from the sewage plant."You couldn't see to the other side," Taylor said, as he looked out over an open bay where forest once stood.

Thursday, Taylor was among those wielding a shovel as politicians broke ground on a project designed to bring the first little patch of that swamp back to life.

The $10 million wetlands assimilation project will let loose treated sewage to act as fertilizer.

"It really sends a message to the rest of America that it's critically important that we rebuild all of New Orleans, all of St. Bernard," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told a crowd of onlookers.

To demonstrate the concept, New Orleans will build a man-made swamp over 20 acres, including cypress trees planted up to 1,200 feet from the sewage plant. READ MORE >>

via www.fox8live.com

  • 11/12/2011
  • Posted by staff

Cypress swamp near Lower 9th Ward will be restored as hurricane defense | NOLA.com

2 June alge on Bayou

PHOTO: Darryl Malek-Wiley

Local leaders announced Thursday the beginning of a project to restore a key area of cypress swampland near the Lower 9th Ward, an effort they called essential to protecting the metro area in the event of another major hurricane.

Swinging shovels full of dirt, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro said the eventual restoration of the 30,000-acre triangle of the once-vibrant Central Wetlands will be part of the several lines of defense that will keep the area safe from storm surge.

The project, first proposed by the Sewerage & Water Board's environmental affairs division, is being built by the water board and St. Bernard Parish.  The first phase, which will restore 2,300 acres, will cost $10 million and will be paid for by the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program, which is financed by offshore oil revenue. Another $30 million will be made available to expand the effort in the next few years.

“This is one of those bright spots where governments join together, crossing parish lines in Louisiana, and do something good for the public, good for the future of all of our communities,” Taffaro said.

“It really sends a message to the rest of America that its critically important that we rebuild all of Louisiana, all of New Orleans, all of St. Bernard because we all have common threats,” Landrieu said. READ FULL ARTICLE >>

via www.nola.com

  • 11/04/2011
  • Posted by staff

Restoring the Hurricane Highway

The latest in a documentary series from the Gulf Restoration Network – this time, a discussion of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) and its impact on greater New Orleans as a “hurricane highway” allowing storm surge into St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward after Katrina.

This episode of Gulf Tides focuses on restoration of the MRGO wetlands and the actions from congress necessary to fund such efforts.
Featured are interviews with Lower 9th Ward residents John Taylor (Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development), Rev. Willie Calhoun (Lower 9th Ward School Coalition), & Sarah DeBacher (Holy Cross Neighborhood Association), as well as John Lopez, Ph.D. (Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation) and Greg Miller (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).

  • 11/01/2011
  • Posted by staff

Gambit's 40 Under 40: CSED's Jenga Mwendo!

Our own Jenga Mwendo – CSED's Food Security Coordinator, founder of the Backyard Gardener's Network, and Lower 9 resident – was just honored as one of Gambit Weekly's "40 Under 40" New Orleanians making a difference!

Jenga_Mwendo
Photo: Gambit Weekly

"New Orleans is a city blessed with a wealth of innovators who use their skills to make the city a better place, whether through social programs, business, the arts or technology. Every year (except 2005), Gambit solicits nominations from the public, then honors 40 people under the age of 40 for their accomplishments and the contributions they have made to New Orleans.

Jenga Mwendo was in New York City working in the computer animation industry in August 2005. After Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, she knew she had to return to New Orleans to help rebuild her neighborhood, the Lower 9th Ward. Looking for a way to make a significant contribution, she realized the important role agriculture played in her community.

"What I found was that so many people traditionally and still do have backyard gardens," she says.

In 2007, Mwendo identified the Ernst Garden, a pre-Katrina community garden and, with the help of neighbors and friends, replanted it. Seeing how the garden brought the community together, she founded the Backyard Gardener's Network (BGN), a nonprofit aimed at building and preserving community through gardening. Since its founding in 2009, BGN has acquired the property next to the garden and converted it into a gardening resource center with a tool lending library, free seeds and educational resources. A second garden has been planted on a blighted lot.

"It's an exercise in how to turn a dumping space into something beautiful," Mwendo says. "It's a safe and positive environment for neighbors who want to get together."

Programming for children also is part of Mwendo's mission. There are weekly storytelling, arts and crafts projects and gardening for kids at the Guerrilla Garden, and she says she hopes to partner with neighborhood churches and organizations to provide activities daily.

"This is all about neighborhood revitalization and how gardens can be positive examples of what is possible for the Lower 9th Ward," she says."

READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>

via www.bestofneworleans.com