From WWNO: Why Do We Measure Wetlands Loss In Football Fields?

Why Do We Measure Wetlands Loss In Football Fields? | WWNO.

In coastal Louisiana, coastal wetlands are converting to open water at a rate measured in football fields.  A football field in less than an hour.  Every hour.

The football field metaphor is the brainchild America’s Wetland Foundation director Val Marmillion. “Everyone knows the size of a football field, whether you like football or not,” he says.

Our good friend Wendy Billiot, who has made her life on the coast, prefers another analogy.  “Since we’ve been charting our wetland loss, we’ve lost a landmass area the size of Delaware – that you can wrap your head around.”

Learn more about Wendy Billiot at http://bayouwoman.com/

Find the full article or listen at http://wwno.org/post/why-do-we-measure-wetlands-loss-football-fields

At ORA Estuaries, we grow oyster reefs into living coastal protection structures.  By combing restoration with engineered infrastructure, we stretch those hard-to-come-by dollars further.  It’s a huge challenge, help us do our part.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder

The Economist illustrates global migration to coastal urban centers

Bright lights, big cities | The Economist.

This article from the Economist beautifully illustrates the massive global migration into a small number of “megacities”, cities with 10 million people or more.  In 1982, the year I was born, there were 5 of these megacities.

urbanization 1982

But that’s changing:

Nearly 9% of the world’s population will be living in just 41 megacities (those with more than 10m inhabitants) by 2030.

urbanization 2030

What’s more,  by my count, over two dozen of those megacities are on the coast.  That’s over half of the megacities.  Hundreds of millions of people.

What does this massive migration mean for megacity inhabitants and nearby environments?  First of all, many of these coastal areas are low lying or even sinking.  Combined with global sea level rise, that fact means that much of the billions of dollars in new infrastructure needed will almost certainly be built in the most vulnerable of places.   More housing and infrastructure will compete for limited space with existing resources like coastal marshes, swamps and mangrove habitats.  The very resources that provide natural protection.  More development means more run off and pollutants in the estuaries.  The very estuaries that are needed to provide seafood and other crucial ecosystem services.

I really think that coastal resiliency will be the interstate project of my generation, perhaps even the next.  At ORA Estuaries, we combine ecosystem services with coastal engineering to provide resilient solutions for our coastal communities.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder

Mississippi residents call for oysters, oysters, oysters

File Mar 02, 3 47 17 PM

Actually “oysters & sea grass, oysters & sea grass, oysters & sea grass!”  Last week, I went to the Mississippi Marine Living Resources Summit.  Thinking it was just another networking opportunity, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself contributing to Mississippi’s coastal plan.  Even more pleasantly surprising was the cross section of coastal Mississippi who attended.  There were the usual scientists, engineers, university people, NGO folks and consultants.  But also homeowners, boat owners, beach combers, commercial fishermen & even a group of Vietnamese fishermen.  Everyone there was passionate about their coastal waters and natural resources.

So why the chorus calling for oysters and sea grass?  The consensus is that the natural resources are integral to the very identity of coastal Mississippi.  Oyster reefs & sea grass beds are the foundations of the whole coastal ecology as well as the “canaries in the coalmine” for estuarine health.  By rebuilding the reefs, and bringing back the sea grass beds,  all those other resources (shrimp, crabs, specs, reds etc…) have a chance to thrive.  At the same time, if the oyster reefs and sea grass beds are thriving, you know that you’ve got healthy water.

At ORA Estuaries, we grow oyster reefs into living coastal protection structures.  By combing restoration with engineered infrastructure, we stretch those hard-to-come-by dollars further.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder ORA Estuaries