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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, February 20, 2014

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Report Provides Historical Overview of Land Change: Quantifying the effects of active natural and constructed crevasses is critical to the planning and success of ecosystem restoration activities. A new report, Pictorial account and landscape evolution of the crevasses near Fort St. Philip, Louisiana, provides an overview of landscape changes within the vicinity of the natural crevasses near Fort St. Philip, Louisiana. Breaching of the eastern levee of the Mississippi River and subsequent development of crevasse channels significantly influenced landscape change within the study area. Though the specific time of breaching near Fort St. Philip has never been documented, it has been assumed that these crevasses were created during the major Mississippi River flood of 1973. Initially, river water that was diverted through the crevasse channels physically removed significant marsh areas. These impacts were followed by several decades of larger regional loss patterns driven by subsidence and other episodic events (e.g., hurricanes and floods), along with localized land gains. The increases in land area are potentially the long-term impacts of the crevasses combined with the short-term results of delta management activities. However, for the majority of the 1956-2008 period of analysis, the crevassing of the eastern bank of the levee was a loss accelerant in the Fort St. Philip area. The report was released by the USACE Research and Development Center and was written by Glenn Suir (USACE), William Jones (USGS NWRC), Adrienne Garber (Five Rivers Services at NWRC), and John Barras (USGS Coastal and Marine Science Center). (Bill Jones; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8581)

CWPPRA Technical Committee Meets: On February 24, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Scott Wilson, Ecologist Kate Spear, and contractors Susan Testroet-Bergeron and Cole Ruckstuhl will attend the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Technical Committee Meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Wilson serves as the Public Outreach Committee Chairman, Testroet-Bergeron serves as the CWPPRA Outreach Coordinator, and Ruckstuhl serves as CWPPRA’s Media Specialist. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Climate Outreach Community of Practice Holds Discussions: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will participate in a special teleconference with the NOAA Gulf of Mexico regional liaison on February 25 to discuss the Climate Outreach Community of Practice in the Gulf of Mexico and the National Wetlands Research Center’s research and application in this area. The Climate Community of Practice brings together extension, outreach and education professionals and community official in the Gulf to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La; 337-266-8655)

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