National News

Voice of the Wetlands Festival to showcase Louisiana acts

By Kate Mabry – Houma Today – August 22, 2014

The 11th annual Voice of the Wetlands Festival in October will exclusively feature Louisiana talent. “This year’s theme is all about native Louisiana sounds — zydeco, Cajun, Creole, jazz. All those genres come together and will play on two stages,” festival volunteer Jill Kettles said. Voice of the Wetlands organizers “wanted to celebrate the Louisiana culture, native sounds and the artists who came from them and bring them all together.” The free festival is expected to draw thousands of people from Oct. 10-12 to Southdown Plantation, 1208 Museum Drive, Houma, to enjoy local musicians such as festival founder Tab Benoit, Royal Southern Brotherhood and Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band, Kettles said. There also will be food and artwork. For more information on the Festival, click here.

Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows

By Neela Banerjee – Los Angeles Times – August 12 2014

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists. Though researchers cautioned their study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, employed at two Wyoming geological formations showed no direct evidence of water-supply contamination, their work is certain to roil the public health debate over the risks of the controversial oil and gas production process. For full story, click here.

Southern Co., partners to award Five Star & Urban Waters Rest. grants

Market Watch –  August 5, 2014

Southern Company, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), has awarded more than $1.8 million in grants to 53 organizations nationwide – as part of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program – to encourage environmental stewardship and community partnerships and protect vital habitats. Funding from Southern Company directly supports 11 projects within the Southern Company system service territory, helping to restore nearly 195 acres and 24,000 square feet of riparian buffer and 3,300 feet of stream bank in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. For full story, click here.

Ten Worst States For Water Pollution

By Sara Jerome–  Water Online – July 11, 2014

Industry dumped over 206 million pounds of toxic chemicals into U.S. waterways in 2012, according to a new report by the advocacy group Environment America Research and Policy Center. The report ranked which states are polluting U.S. waterways the most. The top 10, starting with the highest amount of toxic releases: Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio. The Great Lakes were among the hardest hit, swallowing 8.39 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2012. The Chesapeake Bay took in 3.23 million pounds; the Upper Mississippi River absorbed 16.9 million pounds; and the Puget Sound swallowed 578,000 pounds. For full story, click here.

Study: Colorado River Basin drying up faster than previously thought

By Reid Wilson – The Washington Post – July 24 2014

Seven Western states that rely on the Colorado River Basin for valuable water are drawing more heavily from groundwater supplies than previously believed, a new study finds, the latest indication that an historic drought is threatening the region’s future access to water. In the past nine years, the basin — which covers Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California — has lost about 65 cubic kilometers of fresh water, nearly double the volume of the country’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead. That figure surprised the study’s authors, who used data from a NASA weather satellite to investigate groundwater supplies. For full story, click here.