Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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100 Landscape Architect and Specifier News I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 6 3 3 Largest Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico Recorded in July The global meat industry is being blamed for the largest "dead zone" on record in the Gulf of Mexico. The zone is the result of manure and fertilizer pouring into waterways that feed into the Mississippi and eventually to the Mississippi Delta and the Gulf of Mexico. The zone extends westward to the upper Texas coast, creating or exacerbating huge algal blooms that deprive the gulf waters of oxygen (state of hypoxia). The definition of hypoxia (oxygen depletion in water) is 2 mg grams per liter. This low level of oxygen and algae blooms prompt marine life to flee or die. In July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated the gulf dead zone at 8,200 sq. miles, about the size of New Jersey. The EPA says Tyson alone generating 55 million tons of manure last year. This pollution (high levels of nitrates) has also been linked to drinking water contamination in 2,015 water systems, affecting seven million Americans in 48 states. The graphic y948kor3 shows the results of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium's mapping of the Gulf of Mexico, July 24-30, 2017. The graphic reveals a dead zone covering 8,776 sq. miles, larger than NOAA's estimate, and the largest measured since the consortium's standardized mapping cruises began in July 1985. Heavy Rains, Compromised Pumping Systems Leave New Orleans Flooded Again and under State of Emergency An Aug. 5, 8-10 inches of rain fell on New Orleans, overtaxing the city's 24 pump stations and resulting in broad flooding and closure of 4 exist ramps. Mid- City (9.43"), St. Bernard (5.74"), St. Roch (5.62") and Broadmoor (5.49") recorded the highest rainfall. Water covered car wheels, people carried children through thigh-high water and boats were seen on the streets. Editor's note: The Central Business District streetscape is completely devoid of planted medians, bioswales and rain gardens to help infiltrate rainfall. Numerous showers ensured in the following day. On Aug. 10, the city reported one of the two turbines powering the pumping systems was damaged. Conflicting information from New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board officials on the number of pumps operating and their capacities prompted New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to ask several board officials to resign. On Aug. 11, with streets still flooded and more rains expected, Mayor Landrieu signed a declaration of emergency; Louisiana Gov. John Edwards also declared a state of emergency for New Orleans. All schools continue to be closed. Update: As of Aug. 15, FEMA has received 675 valid flood insurance claims in New Orleans.

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