News Releases

VERIFY: Are shark attacks on the rise?

Researchers found that the rate of shark attacks along the Eastern seaboard and Southern Australia, have doubled in the last 20 years

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Restoring our coast

Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of groups looking to slow that trend, recently took First Alert Storm Team’s Dr. Steve Caparotta up for a bird’s eye view of the fight to save our coast. Flying over the Mississippi River Delta, it can be tough to distinguish where the coast ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins. Our coast was built and shaped over the course of thousands of years, largely by natural meanders in the Mississippi River and its periodic floods that would deposit land-building sediment, but man changed that in the 20th century.

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LSU chooses four students to compete for Udall Scholarship

Howe, Katie Davis, McKaila Darden and Jack Green were selected through an internal LSU competition and will compete with students from universities across the country for the chance to be named a 2019 Udall Scholar. In 2019, the Udall Foundation anticipates awarding 50 scholarships of up to $7,000 each.

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WHOI Researchers Say Coral Disease Outbreak Spreading to U.S. Virgin Islands

Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) says a coral disease has spread from the southern Florida to the U.S. Virgin Islands. WHOI says a coral disease outbreak that wiped out nearly 80-percent of stony corals between Florida’s Key Biscayne and Key West during the past two years appears to have spread to the U.S.

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University of Iowa, LSU flood experts take on Mississippi River flooding

To help communities make informed flood prevention strategy decisions and hopefully prevent disasters like the flooding currently ravaging much of the Upper Mississippi River valley, University of Iowa and Louisiana State University experts are collaborating on a new project. Those two schools, along with the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and The Water Institute of the Gulf have formed the Coastal-Hydrologic Consortium.

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2019 WIB: Camille Manning-Broome

More and more, the world has come to understand that the way in which human beings interact with their physical environment impacts everything from public safety to traffic to housing prices. Making that relationship function better through cutting edge strategies, planning and research is what drives Camille Manning-Broome, president and CEO of the Center for Planning Excellence in Baton Rouge.

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Adélie penguins thrive on the Danger Islands

Today’s Video of the Day from the National Science Foundation describes a recent study on Adélie penguins led by scientists at Louisiana State University (LSU).

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The Environmental Impact of Graduations Celebrations

It’s that time of year again, when LSU seniors smile for the camera and walk across the stage. But when celebrations begin, thoughts of the environment fade. New trends of extravagant graduation pictures featuring glitter and confetti has LSU researcher Matthew Kupchik concerned about the campus’s environment.

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LSU represented among National Science Foundation honorees

Three LSU students or recent graduates are among the recipients of the 2019 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, or GRFP, while 10 more students received honorable mentions.

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Study shows continuing impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Nine years ago tomorrow—April 20, 2010—crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, and reveals the key role that marsh grasses play in the overall recovery of these important coastal wetlands.

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Continuing impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Nine years ago tomorrow -- April 20, 2010 -- crude oil began leaking from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico in what turned out to be the largest marine oil spill in history. A long-term study suggests the oil is still affecting the salt marshes of the Gulf Coast, and reveals the key role that marsh grasses play in the overall recovery of these important coastal wetlands.

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Inspector General: EPA's toxic chemical reports for south Louisiana inaccurate over 5-year period

The Environmental Protection Agency spread false information about toxic chemicals over the course of five years, the agency's Office of the Inspector General announced this week. In a public letter, the OIG "decided to issue an immediate management alert informing the agency of our discovery that its (Toxic Release Inventory) data … are inaccurate," the letter states.

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LSU president: University 'fierce' for future with 'holistic' admissions working; here's how

LSU is fierce for the future. We demonstrate that ferocity through our commitment to the next generation. You may know that we welcomed a record-breaking incoming class in terms of size, diversity, and academic preparedness this fall.

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Linda Hooper-Bui Receives 2019 Coastal Stewardship Award

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is proud to announce the recipients of the 2019 Coastal Stewardship Awards. This year CRCL will honor coastal stewards who have demonstrated passionate commitment to Louisiana's coast and have made immense contributions to the restoration and conservation of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

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Six LSU Faculty Receive the Rainmaker Award for Research and Creative Activity

Six LSU faculty members who are leaders in their fields received the Rainmaker Award for Research and Creative Activity from the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, or ORED, this week. Rainmakers are faculty members who balance their teaching and research responsibilities while extending the impact of their work to the world beyond academia.

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LSU oceanography professor conducts shark attack study

Sharks have developed quite a notorious reputation in the eyes of the public for being dangerous predators that attack humans, even if unprovoked. LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Assistant Professor Stephen Midway hopes to change this view through his new study by showing that shark attack rates are low and highly variable.

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Ten Minutes with Michael Polito, Assistant Professor in the LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences and 2018 Rainmaker

“I'm an ecologist and that basically means I'm someone who studies the interactions that organisms have with each other and with their environment. And the interaction I focus on the most is diets—who eats who. That's everything from understanding a species—how they find their food and what types of food they eat—but also looking across multiple species to understand how energy gets from the bottom of a food web all the way to the top.

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There's a rise in shark attacks, but the risk is low, study finds

Shark attacks have increased around the globe over the past 55 years, but that doesn't mean you need to cancel your beach vacation, according to a new study. The actual attack rate is low, and the risk varies, depending on your location. Researchers used data gathered from 1960 to 2015 from the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File for a worldwide statistical analysis of shark attacks.

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The risk of shark attacks remains low and varies by region

Researchers at Louisiana State University have conducted the first statistical analysis of shark attacks worldwide using data collected over a 55-year period from 1960 to 2015. The experts found that even though the number of shark attacks has increased over time, the risk of shark attacks remains low.

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2019 LSU Truman Nominees

Three Ogden Honors College students have been selected as LSU’s nominees for the nationally competitive Truman Scholarship, awarded by the Harry S. Truman Foundation.

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LSU scientists will be scanning Mississippi River for Mardi Gras beads after Carnival; here's why

Scientists will be scanning for colorful beads and other Mardi Gras throws that make their way into the Mississippi River after this year's Carnival season. On the whole, beads are "a drop in the bucket" of plastic pollution, but they are a vivid reminder of the litter that can harm the ecosystem, said Mark Benfield, a professor with the LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences.

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LSU Dean Receives Lifetime Recognition

BATON ROUGE – The Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative, or GOMURC, recognized Christopher D’Elia for his lifetime of dedication and achievement in support of a healthy and sustainable Gulf of Mexico environment and economy on Feb. 7.

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LSU Coast and Environment dean named fellow by aquatic science professional organization

LSU College of the Coast and Environment Dean Chris D’Elia was named a sustaining fellow by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO).

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A School Board Says No to Big Oil, and Alarms Sound in Business-Friendly Louisiana

It was a squabble over $2.9 million in property-tax breaks — small change for Exxon Mobil, a company that measures its earnings by the billions. But when the East Baton Rouge Parish school board rejected the energy giant’s rather routine request last month, the “no” vote went off like a bomb in a state where obeisance to the oil, gas and chemical industries is the norm.

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Protecting the world’s wetlands: 5 essential reads

Scientists have shown that wetlands provide many valuable services, from buffering coasts against floods to filtering water and storing carbon. These five articles from our archive highlight wetlands’ diversity and the potential payoffs from conserving and restoring them.

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Louisiana 'disproportionately exposed' to Venezuelan oil targeted in U.S. sanctions

Louisiana, with a major Citgo refinery in Lake Charles and other refiners' reliance on Venezuelan oil, is “disproportionately exposed” to sanctions imposed Monday.

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Pulitzer Prize author Jack E. Davis speaks at LSU’s College of Coast and Environment

The Gulf of Mexico is ranked as Earth’s tenth largest body of water, and recently, Jack E. Davis explored related themes contained his new work with the Baton Rouge community. On January 11, Davis spoke at the LSU College of Coast and Environment in the Dalton Wood Auditorium. Here, he discussed the book that received a Pulitzer Prize in 2018, called The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.

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Florida-Based Brewery Creates 6-Pack That Feeds Sea Turtles Instead Of Killing Them

A small brewer in Florida has created a biodegradable 6-pack that will feed sea turtles instead of killing them. Every year, hundreds of thousands of marine animals are killed due to plastic waste. Plastic bottles, containers, and the ubiquitous 6-pack rings are the biggest killers, with animals either ingesting or becoming trapped in plastic debris.

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Where the tallest mangroves are

Mangrove canopy heights vary around the world in response to rain, storms and human activities, suggests a global analysis of mangrove canopy height. How tall the trees are matters for estimating global mangrove carbon storage.

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Mapping the world’s ‘blue carbon’ hot spots in coastal mangrove forest

Human actions have boosted carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to levels higher than any measured over the last 160,000 years. Rising concern over the risk of severe impacts from climate change is spurring research into ways in which ecosystems may mitigate global warming by storing excess carbon in plants and soil.

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Mangrove canopy height globally related to precipitation, temperature and cyclone frequency

Mangrove wetlands are among the most productive and carbon-dense ecosystems in the world. Their structural attributes vary considerably across spatial scales, yielding large uncertainties in regional and global estimates of carbon stocks.

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LSU announces honors students for fall 2018

LSU announced its December honors lists. Undergraduate students enrolled in at least 15 credit hours who earned GPAs of 4.0 or higher during the semester are listed on the President’s Honor Roll. Undergraduate students who earned GPAs of 3.5 to 3.99 in at least 15 credit hours are listed on the Dean’s List.

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Backfill oil and gas canals to restore wetlands, LSU researcher proposes in new scientific paper

Louisiana State University wetlands scientist Eugene Turner believes he has a simple solution for a key cause of coastal wetland loss in Louisiana: rake the dirt piled on the banks of canals leading to plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells back into the canals and allow nature to restore their wetlands.

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Penguin Poop, Seen From Space, Tells Our Climate Story

SATELLITES WATCH MANY things as they orbit the Earth: hurricanes brewing in the Caribbean, tropical forests burning in the Amazon, even North Korean soldiers building missile launchers. But some researchers have found a new way to use satellites to figure out what penguins eat by capturing images of the animal’s poop deposits across Antarctica.

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Restoring canals shown as cost-efficient way to reverse wetland loss

LSU Boyd Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences R. Eugene Turner has determined a cost-effective way to prevent coastal erosion and protect Louisiana's wetlands. Along with LSU alumna and now University of Central Florida Postdoctoral Fellow Giovanna McClenachan, Turner proposes a simple and inexpensive way to fill in canals that were once used for oil and gas mining. Their research was published recently in the journal PLOS ONE.

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State begins coast-wide effort to sustain fisheries hit by wetland erosion, restoration projects

State officials have embarked on a coast-wide effort to partner with the commercial and recreational fishing industry to find ways to make fishing more sustainable in the future, even as some state projects aimed at restoring coastal wetlands and land threaten fisheries and fishers.

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How This Supercolony of 1.5 Million Penguins Stayed Hidden for Nearly 3,000 Years

This year, scientists announced an incredible discovery by looking at poop stains in satellite images — 1.5 million Adélie penguins were living and thriving on a little patch in Antarctica surrounded by treacherous sea ice called the Danger Islands.

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Penguin Poop Keeps a Record of Antarctic Glaciation

Scientists are digging up Adélie penguin guano to study millennia of Antarctica’s history.

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LSU Researcher Uses Subsea Inspection Footage to Spot Deep Sea Creatures

To some, plunging into the darkest depths of a vast and mysterious ocean would be a Lovecraftian nightmare. But Mark Benfield, Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Professor in LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment, or CC&E, welcomes the chance for new aquatic discoveries.

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WATCH: La. Sea Grant director speaks at Press Club of Baton Rouge

Louisiana Sea Grant director Robert Twilley addressed the Press Club of Baton Rouge Monday in celebration of the organization's 50th anniversary. We're told Louisiana Sea Grant is responsible for research and extension concerning the state's coastal and marine resources.

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2019 Gulf Coast Energy Outlook: Strong oil and gas production, complicated pricing forecast

In 2019, the Gulf Coast region will build upon its 2018 economic gains in the energy sector, according to the 2019 Gulf Coast Energy Outlook, although those gains will likely be slower due to concerns about economic growth and geopolitical tensions. It’s all part of the Gulf Coast—specifically Louisiana and Texas—becoming a more integrated part of the overall world market, says LSU Center for Energy Studies Executive Director David Dismukes, who co-authored the report.

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Experts warn of growing risks to heavily populated coastlines

Trillions of dollars' worth of U.S. coastal development and military installations are at risk from powerful storms and sea level rise, a panel of experts warned at a congressional briefing today. They said that continued investments into accurate and timely weather forecasts and long-term understanding of the Earth system are vital for saving lives and protecting property in densely populated coastal regions, both in the United States and overseas.

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LSU forecasters downgrade job growth outlook for Louisiana oil and gas sector

LSU researchers are downsizing the employment growth projections for Louisiana’s oil and gas production sector for the coming years, but energy companies are expected to continue adding jobs and spending money as part of an ongoing Gulf Coast energy boom.

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Science in times of political polarization

Residents of Louisiana could pay the price for increasing politicization of science communication as the coastline sinks and oceans rise, several experts said. “Very often, the press gets its information about science from politicians,” Chris D′Elia, dean of LSU′s College of the Coast & Environment, said during a panel discussion. ”This immediately polarizes people on the issues.″ According to D′Elia, the sinking coastline leaves Louisiana particularly vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise related to climate change. He likened the state to a person standing in an elevator that is descending as water rises around it.

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With Lafayette deal off, Bernhard’s efforts to get into utilities becomes more difficult

NextGEN Utility Systems, a company created and owned by Baton Rouge-based private equity firm Bernhard Capital Partners, withdrew its controversial proposal Monday to manage Lafayette Utility Systems just hours before the Lafayette City-Parish Council passed a resolution effectively killing any efforts by anyone to privatize or privately manage the parish-owned utility.

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ECO Magazine: State of the Coast

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LSU professor honored by China for work on wetlands conservation

China has awarded its highest honor for a non-Chinese expert to a professor from Louisiana for his work on wetlands management and preservation. Ed Laws, a professor of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University's (LSU) College of the Coast and Environment, was given the Friendship Award by Vice-Premier Liu He at a ceremony in Beijing on Sept 29.

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Panel: Keep politics out of scientific issues

Residents of Louisiana could pay the price for increasing politicization of science communication as the coastline sinks and oceans rise, several experts said. “Very often, the press gets its information about science from politicians,” Chris D’Elia, dean of LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment, said during a panel discussion. “This immediately polarizes people on the issues.”

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Abundance and Distribution of Reef-Associated Fishes Around Small Oiland Gas Platforms in the Northern Gulf of Mexico’s Hypoxic Zone

Oil and gas platforms (platforms) provide high-relief habitat in the northern Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone that are important to associatedfishes. Hypoxia develops near the bottom and reef-associated fishes utilize vertical structure in the well-oxygenated waters overlayinghypoxia

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LSU professor honored in China for coastal wetlands research

Environmental sciences professor Ed Laws received the Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China on Sept. 29 for his coastal wetlands research. The Friendship Award is China’s highest award given to foreign experts who have made significant contributions to China’s economic and social progress.

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Gulf dolphins contaminated with chemicals from plastics, study finds

The chemicals found in plastic are now found in the Gulf of Mexico's dolphins. A recent study found 71 percent of bottlenose dolphins tested in Sarasota Bay in southwest Florida had evidence of phthalates, a chemical compound added to plastic and other products, including paints and cosmetics.

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Tackling Air Pollution with Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

Outdoor air pollution is a major environmental hazard affecting human health across the globe. The link between inhalation of ambient particulate matter (PM) and various adverse health effects is documented extensively by epidemiological and toxicological studies. Large fractions of ambient air PM originate from combustion and thermal sources, where at low temperatures at the end of the process, interaction of products of incomplete combustion with transition metals form environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs). These are identified as crucial PM components triggering hydroxyl radical (•OH) generation via EPFR redox cycle

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LSU EnvironMentors give high school students hands-on science experience

The LSU EnvironMentors give high school students a rare experience at the University. The group provides Scotlandville Magnet High School students with a free educational and research program diving into a subject that high schools may fail to teach: environmental science.

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Editor’s opinion: A ray of hope amid a four-year bust

A Louisiana economist’s latest forecast for the Houma-Thibodaux area offers a glimmer of hope to a community hit hard by a four-year offshore oil bust. Put simply, Loren Scott’s report, the subject of a story on today’s front page, says the area has hit bottom and has started the “long road back.”

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The Strangest Deep-Sea Creatures Washed Ashore by Hurricanes

While the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Florence is being dealt with on land, we wondered what happens beneath the sea during such storms. Some surprising animals can wash onto the beach after storms, including deep-sea creatures

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LSU researchers travel to Tanzania to study coastlines

LSU’s College of the Coast and Environment travelled to Tanzania to study the effects of economical and socio-economical impact on the coastline. Graduate students Xiaochen Zhao and Mario Hernandez, along with several other students, traveled with oceanography and coastal sciences associate professor Victor H. Rivera-Monroy to evaluate 13 different villages across the Pangani and Rufiji districts of Tanzania.

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China's new retaliatory tariffs on liquefied natural gas, chemicals hit home for Louisiana

China said Tuesday it will impose 10 percent duties on a host of U.S. products, including liquefied natural gas, threatening a booming Louisiana industry, and chemicals, Louisiana’s third-largest export to China and a major industry statewide.

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Soil viruses: unlocking the secret garden

Do soil viruses, like their marine counterparts, contribute to microbial mortality, carbon and nutrient cycling, and climate? According to this metagenomic study of ~2,000 soil viral populations in thawing permafrost, yes, we think so.

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Plastic is in more places than you think

Microscopic plastic fibers are likely in your bottled water, tap water and Sprite can. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program held a discussion on micro-plastic pollution in the Mississippi River and coastal Gulf of Mexico.

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LSU professor joins global effort to study penguins

Humans travel. A lot. In fact, if you’ve spent more than 50 hours on an airplane, you’ve traveled the distance of the world. With that in mind, you’d think we’ve probably seen all this planet has to offer, right? Actually, wrong.

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'People will only tolerate so many false alarms': Experts talk Tropical Storm Gordon forecast

Louisiana officials declared an emergency, called out the National Guard, shuttered schools and closed courthouses as Tropical Storm Gordon drew near, but the weather system bucked east and left the Pelican State unscathed.

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Study Finds Hurricane Isaac Prolonged Oil Spill Impacts on Some Marsh Insects and Spiders

Researchers collected and analyzed terrestrial arthropods from Louisiana marshes to determine the combined effects from Deepwater Horizon and Hurricane Isaac on saltmarsh ecosystems. The initial oiling from the spill (2010) followed by the oil’s redistribution during Hurricane Isaac (2012)

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Project lifts the veil on life in the ocean's twilight zone

SHARE 0 0 IN DEPTHMARINE SCIENCE Project lifts the veil on life in the ocean's twilight zone Eli Kintisch See all authors and affiliations Science 24 Aug 2018: Vol. 361, Issue 6404, pp. 738 DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6404.738 Article Figures & Data Info & Metrics eLetters PDF You are currently viewing the summary. View Full Text Summary Between 200 and 1000 meters below the ocean surface lies the twilight zone, a mysterious, dark, poorly studied part of the ocean that teems with sea life.

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Why Louisiana's most progressive tiny town hasn't passed a plastic bag ban yet

Can environmental activists get one of south Louisiana's most progressive small towns to ditch its plastic bags? So far, things haven't broken their way. "To say they weren't warmly received would be an understatement," said Abita Springs Mayor Greg Lemons.

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The Station sports bar ditches plastic straws; LSU oceanographer applauds move

A Baton Rouge bar believes it's the first in the city to switch from plastic straws to a 100% biodegradable option.

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Grant aims to evaluate emergency weather communication

A new grant is funding research on how emergency managers communicate important information to coastal communities about hazardous conditions such as severe weather. The Louisiana Sea Grant awarded $200,000 to LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication and LSU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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When it comes to carbon storage, not all mangroves are equal

The study found that past research underestimated the amount of carbon stored in forests growing on limestone or carbonate soils by up to 50 percent, and overestimated blue carbon stored in deltaic settings by up to 86 percent.

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Why Louisiana's most progressive tiny town hasn't passed a plastic bag ban yet

Can environmental activists get one of south Louisiana's most progressive small towns to ditch its plastic bags? So far, things haven't broken their way. "To say they weren't warmly received would be an understatement," said Abita Springs Mayor Greg Lemons.

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Scientists: Surprisingly Small 'Dead Zone' Off Louisiana

This year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" is surprisingly small, but the oxygen-depleted water rose higher toward the surface than usual, scientists said Tuesday.

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Researcher: Culture Affects Flood Resiliency

Research conducted by an LSU student indicates that cultural and social factors influence the flood resiliency of at-risk coastal areas of Louisiana, including Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. “We often hear about the coast’s assets -- its fisheries, its minerals and many other economic products,”

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How Mangroves Help Keep the Planet Cool

In a new global framework, scientists have developed a more accurate assessment of how mangroves store carbon in their soil. The researchers found that previous studies have underestimated the blue carbon levels in mangroves by up to 50 percent in some regions and overestimated levels by up to 86 percent in others.

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Group studying low-oxygen levels in bodies of water meets at Nicholls

A forum focused on the issue and ramifications of low oxygen levels in bodies of water was held today at Nicholls State University. Hypoxia, or oxygen depletion, is an environmental phenomenon where the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water column decreases to a level that can no longer support living aquatic organisms.

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Straw or no straw: Growing list of companies take a stand

By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Matthew Kupchik with the LSU School of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences cited that finding from recent studies when speaking to the impact of plastic straws.

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