Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Saboteurs of their own coastline.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and local leaders talk to reporters after flying over Lake Pontchartrain, the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass on Tuesday. The leaders have renewed their call for protective rock barriers to be constructed. From left are Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, Jefferson Parish Council Chairman John Young, Jindal, interim Jefferson Parish President Steve Theriot, Jefferson Parish Councilman Tom Capella and St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro.

They flew over some oil tainted waterways and all of a sudden they are the experts that know better than any of THEIR OWN SCIENTISTS how best to handle the oil spill in Louisiana.  Not.  They are community leaders, without any scientists backing them up in regard to building berms or dumping large amounts of rock as a plan to stop oil from reaching the coastline. 


I thought they were going to use large amounts of sand no different than the barrier islands that are already there.  You know, the kind of 'barriers' that 'roll over' and act as a barrier no different than the islands that are already there.

Louisiana scientists disagree with their community leaders and Governor, but, all these men can do is yell at the federal government.  There is no sound science that backs the plans these men have made regarding their coast and now there are reports that Jindal won't deploy more National Guard troops to assist with coastline protections. 

Louisiana is its own problem.

Governor Bobby Jindal Under Scrutiny (click title to entry - thank you)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is facing criticism over his reluctance to activate an additional 5,000 National Guard troops.
Mr. Jindal, who in recent weeks has received national media attention, has made clear his displeasure with the federal government’s response to the oil spill. But, many are now looking into the governor’s own response to the spill and are discovering a number of roadblocks implemented by the state.
The governor, who has construed BP and President Obama as foot-dragging, recently told CBS news that “We asked the White House to approve the initial 6,000 [National Guards]. What they came back and said is the Coast Guard and BP has to authorize the individual tasks.”
Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen responded, “There is nothing standing in the governor’s way from utilizing more National Guard troops.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s office subsequently said Mr. Jindal has not specifically asked for the troops. “[The Governor] has not specifically asked for more Guard troops to be deployed.”

What is occurring with Jindal and the local community leaders in Louisiana is 'hard core' Republican politics and nothing else.  The press wants the scandal and conflict because it 'sells.'

Proposal worries scientists
But just as there was with the sand berms, there has been widespread concern in the scientific and environmental communities that the rock dikes could actually do more damage to natural coastal resources than the oil would. The basic criticism is that tides must move in and out of the passes, and that blocking the flow will increase the velocity of water and oil moving into the wetlands, potentially eating away at existing barrier islands and deepening the channel in the future.
Coastal scientists differentiate between "hard structures" such as rocks and soft, natural structures such as sand islands or marshes.
"The softer parts of the system (e.g. the sandy barriers between the inlets) will then become the weak spot as the inlets have hardened and constricted," Denise Reed, a coastal scientist at the University of New Orleans, wrote in comments to the corps. "It is possible that hardening the inlets makes breaching of the islands more likely -- both resulting in additional erosion and more pathways for oil to move in from the Gulf."
In addition to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state's own scientific review panel, the Horizon Oil Spill Science and Engineering Review Team, expressed numerous concerns with the rock jetty plan more than a week ago.
A separate group of 15 coastal scientists from Louisiana universities and national environmental groups expressed concerns about the plan in a letter sent to the corps last week.
"Limited, if any, scientific input has been incorporated from outside experts, even when offered," the letter stated. "This process is inadequate for an endeavor of this scope of potential impacts and risks. Prior to issuance of a permit, we recommend incorporating science and technical expertise into the planning process ... We also request to be included in future oil-fighting strategies planning."...

According to an article in the New York Times (click here), BP has paid $30 million for rock that sits on barges without a permit to use in an engineering nightmare.  BP while trying to react to the oil spill is causing itself more problems by contributing to plans that are not approved for action. 

Such plans may seem 'flamboyant' to the media and the public, but, when the reality is a 'nightmare' according to the Louisiana State scientists, the attempt begins to reflect on the same poor planning witnessed with the original Deepwater Horizon fire and failure of the Blow Out Preventer, along with all the other failed attempts to close the BOP rupture.

An engineer can be hired to draw up a blue print and a Governor can order all the materials needed for the project, but, if it isn't based in 'sound coastal science' it serves no purpose.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's handling of Gulf oil spill profiled by NPR

Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 8:45 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 8:54 AM

The piece notes that Jindal has rebounded from his "lackluster rebuttal" to President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address. The oil spill has given him the opportunity to rail against BP and the federal bureaucracy.
Share His "fast-talking, wonkish approach" to the spill is popular with voters; most recent polls put his popularity at 61 percent or higher.
While some environmentalists dismiss as political his plan to dredge and create sand berms off the coast to capture some of the oil, it has made him appear dynamic, especially when compared with the Obama administration....

Oil Spill Crisis Puts Jindal Back On Center Stage
by Debbie Elliott

Applying 'rock jetties' to the problem is NOT a solution.  Rocks don't 'pack,' they would allow oil tainted water to flow between them.  The rocks would not only cause problems with coastal dynamics, they simply WOULD NOT WORK !

And if the engineer of the project was counting on 'filling' in the gaps in the rock with sand, the result would be the same.  The sand would 'wash out' from between the rocks and the water would flow through them anyway. 

Rock Jetties address an entirely different issue than 'sand barrier islands' address.

This project is an emotional reaction to a complex problem.  The Louisiana leadership does not trust the people they need to trust and this is the result.