Press Releases

Institute researchers author five journal articles in special issue of Shore and Beach journal “Deepwater Horizon 10 years later.”

BATON ROUGE, La. (March 26, 2020) – A special issue of Shore and Beach journal – “Deepwater Horizon 10 years later” – includes five articles from Institute team members ranging in topics from barrier island design to data analysis and from assessing the well-being of communities to adaptive management strategies.

The purpose of this special issue examines “what’s been done and what’s been learned after one of our country’s worst environmental disasters.” The special edition (member only) is here

The five Institute-authored articles are available in full here.

Institute-authored papers summarized here:

A short history of funding and accomplishments post-Deepwater Horizon Jessica R. Henkel (Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council) and Alyssa Dausman (Institute)

Provides a short review of history and accomplishments of the largest funding allocations for research and restoration made as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement. This appears as the first article in the 10-year commemoration issue dedicated to Deepwater Horizon in order to provide context for the articles that follow.

Gulf-wide data synthesis for restoration planning: Utility and limitations Leland C. Moss (Abt Associates), Tim J.B. Carruthers (Institute), Harris Bienn (Institute), Adrian McInnis (Institute), Alyssa M. Dausman (Institute)

Examines a process of synthesizing available data in order to maximize environmental, societal, and financial benefits of work planned to be done as a result of Deepwater Horizon settlement funding. This process examines regional and Gulf-wide impacts, giving decision makers and planners a tool to support broad scale prioritization for restoration efforts based on the likelihood of success and desired outcomes.

Double exposure and dynamic vulnerability: Assessing economic well-being, ecological change and the development of the oil and gas industry in coastal Louisiana Scott A. Hemmerling (Institute), Tim J.B. Carruthers (Institute), Ann C. Hijuelos (U.S. Geological Survey Wetland and Aquatic Research Center), and Harris C. Bienn (Institute) Examines the relationship between economic well-being, oil and gas infrastructure development, and healthy fish and shellfish habitat in Louisiana’s coastal zone from 1950 to 2010. The results suggest that for many communities, the dependence on the oil and gas industry has increased economic well-being but also increased sensitivity to natural and human-induced changes including fluctuating economic conditions, environmental stress, coastal habitat destruction, and increasing social and economic pressures.

Strategies to implement adaptive management practices for restoration in coastal Louisiana Tim J.B. Carruthers (Institute), Richard C. Raynie (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority), Alyssa M. Dausman (Institute), and Syed Khalil (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority)

Due to the Deepwater Horizon settlement, the amount of coastal restoration work has greatly increased. This has in turn led to an increase in the governance complexity associated with project funding, implementation, and reporting. As a result, there is a recognized need to formalize an adaptive management process for coastal restoration in Louisiana – a process that accounts for monitoring completed projects with an eye toward making adjustments to operations or future project designs. The overall goal is to maximize benefits from restoration projects. This paper examines the development of this formalization and outlines strategic actions to put the plan into action.

Event and decadal-scale modeling of barrier island restoration designs for decision support Joseph Long (University of North Carolina Wilmington), P. Soupy Dalyander (Institute), Michael Poff, (Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc.), Brian Spears (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Brett Borne (Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc.), David Thompson (U.S. Geological Survey), Rangley Mickey (U.S. Geological Survey), Steve Dartez (Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc.), and Gregory Grandy (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority)

This paper outlines the development of a model framework to simulate the evolution of a barrier island given such challenges as sea level rise and storm impact in order to maximize benefits of restoration. The project focused on Breton Island with a goal informing management and engineering decisions and developing realistic expectations for the performance of a project. The project included the consideration of various impacts such as storms, long-term shoreline changes, and relative sea level rise over a 15-year time period. The results of this work were used in finalization of the restoration project design.

- 30 -

The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent applied research and technical services institution with a mission to help coastal and deltaic communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. Through an integrated and interdisciplinary approach, our work helps create more resilient communities, thriving economies, and healthy environment.