What Will Happen to Louisiana’s Wetlands?

Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/32547944@N06/">zert.rohstoffe_2008</a>

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Yesterday, my very esteemed colleague Kate Sheppard explained how cleanup methods could cause more damage than the Deepwater Horizon leak itself. Here in New Orleans, I chatted with rock-star wetlands researcher Denise J. Reed, who you heard on NPR and at congressional hearings when everyone was talking about post-Katrina coast restoration, and who says there could be more stories in this meme.

Take the Louisiana wetlands, that critical hurricane defense that was already incredibly beleaguered and is now further threatened by millions of gallons of oil. “The cleanup damage could be worse than the oil damage,” Reed says. “These areas are incredibly hard to get to. And incredibly delicate. You can’t just bring in heavy equipment and pressure-wash boulders like you did after Valdez.”

Reed will be working on the plan to remediate the wetlands after this new disaster, but designing, much less implementing, that plan is a ways away. First, researchers will have to figure out the impact of the spill, by painstakingly collecting new data in the wetlands and then comparing it to the pre-Deepwater research Reed and other scientists have been meticulously amassing for years. And of course, before any of that can begin, the leak has to stop. “It’s a difficult time now, because for a good while, we’ll be helpless,” Reed says. “We don’t know how long, how much, what way the wind will go. It’s like a hurricane coming at you, but really, really slowly, and with endless potential for damage.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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