Science and Environment

Hurricane Isaac
12:00 am
Wed August 29, 2012

As Isaac Approaches Baton Rouge, Holden Says Safety Is Priority

Mayor-President Kip Holden at the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Operations Center.
Credit WRKF/Ashley Westerman

As Isaac approaches Baton Rouge, city officials are now on a 24-hour information cycle to better inform and help residents.

WRKF's Ashley Westerman spoke with East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden And he says wind and rain are the main concern as the Isaac hits the Capital Area.


Read more
Preserving the Basin
12:00 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Land Dispute Ends in Conservation Agreement

This map from the St. Martin Parish Assessor 's office shows where the school board's section 16 property is located. (WRKF)

A cypress logging deal between a local school board and a timber company has failed to go through after outcry from environmental groups who said the trees need to be protected. But as WRKF's Tegan Wendland reports, the school board really needed the money, so they've come up with an alternative. 

Read more
Environment
12:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Atchafalaya Basin Draws More Visitors

It’s downtime for tourism in Louisiana. Tourism officials in the Atchafalaya Basin are taking advantage of the hot summer break to prepare for another busy season.

Since the launch of the popular reality show, Swamp People, in 2010, visits to the area are way up.

Executive Director of the Atchafalaya Basin Heritage Program, Deb Credeur, says they’ve seen a 15 percent jump in the number of people stopping by the visitor center.

She talked with WRKF’s Tegan Wendland about the draw of Louisiana’s swamps and bayous.

Read more
Conservation
12:00 am
Wed May 30, 2012

The State of Honey Bees in Louisiana

Honey bee populations are dwindling across the country. Some experts blame Colony Collapse Disorder while others have linked pesticides and genetically engineered crops to the bee deaths. (PublicDomainPictures/JaniRavas)

Earlier this week Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law that creates a "Save the Honeybee" license plate.

But why are honeybees so important?

For that answer WRKF's Ashley Westerman turned to Dr. Tom Rinderer, the researcher leader at the USDA Honey Bee Lab here in Baton Rouge. That lab will benefit from the proceeds from license plate.

"Honeybees are absolutely vital to American agriculture, they pollinate in excess of $20-billion worth of crops a year," said Rinderer.


Read more
Conservation
12:00 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Partnership will Educate and Enable Farmers to Restore Wetlands

One scientist with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says the key to improving our watersheds is educating our farmers. A new partnership between the LDEQ and the state and federal departments of agriculture aims to do just that.

WRKF's Tegan Wendland had a conversation with Jan Boydston, Senior Environmental Scientist at the LDEQ, about the new initiative, which focuses on educating and training farmers in Acadia, Lafayette, Vermilion, Catahoula and Tangipahoa parishes.


Read more
Gulf Coast
12:00 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Institute Seeks to Bridge Gap Between Research and Engineering to Save Gulf

Ehab Meselhe is the new Director of Natural Systems Modeling and Monitoring for the Water Institute of the Gulf. (WRKF/Tegan Wendland)

This week the state legislature unanimously approved the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, a 50 year blueprint for restoring disappearing wetlands and protecting the state's natural resources.

Coastal land loss is an ongoing problem in gulf states and there are many agencies, non-profits and universities working to solve it. An independent research institute hopes to be the linchpin that brings them all together. The Water Institute of the Gulf was founded last year and has just selected UL-Lafayette civil engineering professor Ehab Meselhe as the new director of natural systems. He's also heading up a five-year, $25 million federally funded project studying land loss and restoration.

WRKF's Tegan Wendland talked with him about how he hopes the Water Institute will streamline efforts to save the gulf.


Read more
Wildlife
12:00 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Sick Fish Suggest Lingering Impact of BP Spill

A lesion on a red snapper found in the area of the BP spill (Courtesy of James Cowan.)

In November 2011, roughly a year and a half after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, commercial fisherman began catching red snapper with dark sores and lesions in the Gulf.

A group of LSU scientists studying the impact of the disaster is still finding large numbers of sick fish -- snapper in particular -- throughout the area of the oil spill.


Read more
Gulf Coast
12:00 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Coastal Communities Still Feeling Effects Of Spill

A view of the oil source as seen during an overflight on May 20, 2010. (Photo:NOAA)

Two years ago today, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers, and causing the largest marine spill in American history.

Beyond the effects on wildlife, tourism and fishing along the Gulf Coast, the spill has had a lasting impact on the lives and relationships in communities there.

Diane Austin, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona, was part of a research team that published a report last year on those social effects. She talked with WRKF's Ashley Westerman by phone about the pervasiveness of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


Read more
Energy
12:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Candidates Stumping in La. Tackle Energy Policy

An oil derrick in Morgan City, La. (Flickr/giblee)

In Mississippi, they ate grits. In Louisiana, Republican presidential hopefuls have been trying to impress local voters by talking about oil and gas ahead of Saturday's primary.

Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, told WRKF's Amy Jeffries, especially with gas prices on the rise, the candidates would have been remiss if they didn't tackle energy policy on the stump.


Read more
Agriculture
12:00 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Global Market, Good Weather Benefit La. Sugar

A sugar field in Paincourtville. (Tegan Wendland/WRKF)

Louisiana sugar farmers are having a good year. The yield is up, and so are prices.


Read more

Pages