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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, June 9, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • USGS Participates in International Deltas Conference: USGS South Central Area Deputy Regional Executive James Stefanov, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, and NWRC Branch Chief Greg Steyer participated in the Deltanet International Conference in the Ebro Delta in Catalonia, Spain June 6 – 10, 2011. Stefanov presented during a panel session on USGS’ Delta Research and Global Observation Network (DRAGON), Turnipseed presented “Coastwide Reference Monitoring System: Wetland Data to Support Restoration Assessment in the Mississippi River Delta, USA,” and Steyer presented “Spatial modelling of relative elevation and soil organic carbon storage in Louisiana deltaic wetlands with relative sea level rise and restoration.” The theme of the meeting was “Impacts of Global Change on Deltas, Esuaries and Coastal Lagoons: Research, observation and management.” DeltaNet is a network of European deltas and estuaries (http://www.deltanet-project.eu). The principal objective of DeltaNet is to set up a learning and policy network of European delta regions. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Land Change Map Presentation to Natural Resources and Environment Subcommittee:  NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed addressed a combined House and Senate Subcommittee of the Louisiana Legislature on the morning of June 2, 2011.  The subject of the presentation to the combined Natural Resources and Environment subcommittee was a new land change map for coastal Louisiana, USGS SIM 3164.  A press conference was held afterward at the Louisiana State Capitol.  This product provides data to support better understanding of the timing and causes of wetland loss critical for forecasting future landscape change. Video of the briefing and press conference is available at http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Video/2011/Jun2011.htm. Click on "Natural Resources (Joint)” for June 2.  (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

Press Inquiries/Media - Newspapers/magazines/wires, etc.

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee was interviewed by a reporter with Nature magazine about the 2011 flood event and related research in the Mississippi River Delta on June 5, 2011. (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La., 337-266-8662)

  • Three recent press releases and a media advisory have generated a large amount of media activity lately. "Satellite Images Show Extent of Mississippi River Sediment" was a joint release with NASA (May 27, 2011) that was picked up internationally. "USGS Helps Find Colombian Educator Lost in Louisiana Swamp" was released May 27, 2011. "Media Advisory: How are Louisiana Wetlands Changing? New Map Shows Losses and Gains Since 1932" was also released May 27, 2011. The press release related to the media advisory was released June 2, 2011. Numerous interviews, including CNN, Huffington Post, Times-Picayune, Lafayette Daily Advertiser, KATC (ABC, Lafayette, LA), and the Daily Comet (Houma, La.) took place and coverage of the stories was widespread. Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Scott Wilson, and Geographer Brady Couvillion were all interviewed by various venues. Media tours were held June 3. Toured were the Times-Picayune, FOX New Orleans, KATC Lafayette, the Associated Press, and CBS New Orleans. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

    This story ran in more than 50 outlets worldwide. Here are a few:

    • Satellite images show large sediment plumes from flooding (CNN; May 27, 2011) “The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA recently provided the stark imagery of the sediment plumes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana to assist them with flood response.” (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

    • Satellite map shows sediment plumes from Mississippi River flooding (Times-Picayune; New Orleans, La.; June 2, 2011) “Satellite images from U.S. Geological Survey and NASA data show large amounts of sediment throughout coastal Louisiana as a result of flooding on the Mississippi River.” (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

    • Images Show Sediment Plumes From River Flooding
      USGS: Sediment From Mississippi River Will Hurt Oyster Harvest In La. Waters (CNN/WXLY; Spokane, Wash.; May 27, 2011) “The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA recently provided the stark imagery of the sediment plumes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana to assist them with flood response.” (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

    • Satellite images show extent of river sediment (Meridian Star; Bay St. Louis, Miss.; May 30, 2011) “Satellite images show large amounts of sediment throughout coastal Louisiana as a result of flooding on the Mississippi River, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey and NASA data.” (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

    • Mississippi River mud as seen from space (Fox 8; New Orleans, La.; May 27, 2011) “A NASA statement said the images were taken at the request of the United States Geological Survey, which hopes to better understand how sediments move into wetlands.” (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

    Other stories:

    A sampling of stories associated with the land change map:

    • Louisiana is losing a football field of wetlands an hour, new U.S. Geological Survey study says (The Times-Picayune; New Orleans, La.; June 2, 2011) “Louisiana’s coastline has been losing wetlands at a rate of 16.57 square miles a year during the past 25 years, equal to the loss of a football field of coast every hour, according to a study released today by the U.S. Geologicial Survey.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

    • New maps show scale of wetland loss problem (Daily Comet; Houma, La.; June 2, 2011) “Since 1932, coastal Louisiana has lost 1,883 square miles of wetlands that provide vital storm surge protection to coastal residents, the equivalent of wiping the state of Delaware off the map, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

    • Coastal land change map has new features (The Advocate; Baton Rouge, La.; June 3, 2011) “Despite a decline in the rate of coastal wetland loss in the past 25 years, Louisiana has experienced a net loss of 1,883 square miles since 1932, according to a U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center report.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501) [This story was picked up by the Associated Press.]

    • USGS maps 1,883 square miles of lost coast in La. (San Antonio Express; San Antonio, Texas; June 3, 2011) “Despite a decline in the rate of coastal wetland loss in the past 25 years, Louisiana has experienced a net loss of 1,883 square miles since 1932, according to a U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center report.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

    • Our wetlands: World's greatest disappearing act (Daily Comet; Houma, La.; June 3, 2011) “The U.S. Geological Research Survey presented their new map showing wetland loss and gain on the Louisiana coastline from 1932 to 2010 to lawmakers in Baton Rouge Thursday.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • Satellite Images Show Extent of Mississippi River Sediment (KATC; Lafayette, La.; May 27, 2011) “Satellite images show large amounts of sediment throughout coastal Louisiana as a result of flooding on the Mississippi River, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey and NASA data.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • USGS Helps Find Colombian Educator Lost in Louisiana Swamp (KATC; Lafayette, La.; May 27, 2011) “A missing university official from Colombia was located using maps and geospatial data from the U.S. Geological Survey's Science Response Vehicle (SRV) Team and the National Park Service (NPS).” (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • View from above tells story of Louisiana wetlands (FOX 8; New Orleans, La.; June 2, 2011) “A new map from the U.S. Geological Survey tracks Louisiana's land loss since 1932, from the first aerial photographs to modern satellites.”

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

  • Thursday at the Louisiana Legislature (2TheAdvocate.com; Baton Rouge, La.) “Agenda includes: Joint meeting for presentation by USGS National Wetlands Research Center of new map product showing wetland losses and gains 1932 - 2010” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • WETLANDS: Hurricanes fueled rapid coastline loss in La. -- study (Greenwire; June 3, 2011) “Louisiana's coastline has been losing the equivalent of a football field's worth of wetlands along its coast every hour -- or 16.57 square miles a year -- over the past 25 years, according to a study released yesterday by the U.S. Geological Survey.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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