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Learning From the Louisiana Oil Spill

Coastal wetlands expert discusses what the Deepwater Horizon spill has taught us

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March 29, 2011 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The history of coastal Louisiana is intimately tied to the Mississippi River. On Tuesday, April 12, a coastal wetlands expert involved in policy issues affecting that coast’s environmental restoration will deliver a lecture at Northwestern University.

Denise J. Reed, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of New Orleans, will discuss ”A Sustainable Ecosystem, Economy and Society in Coastal Louisiana: One Year after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” at 2 p.m. in the Lake Room (Room 203) of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. Her lecture is free and open to the public.

Reed will talk about environmental decisions made before and after the oil spill and their influence on the Louisiana coast’s ecosystem, economy and society. Among the questions she will raise is whether last year’s massive oil spill represents another nail in the coffin of Gulf Coast environmental degradation or an opportunity for developing new ways of managing the region’s natural resources.

In the course of thousands of years, the river built an extensive delta plain supporting a diverse and productive ecosystem. Now floods, river shoaling and increasing use of the river and coast for commerce have created massive ecosystem degradation. 

Reed’s talk, organized by the Environmental Policy and Culture Program in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, will examine environmental priorities and ways to address the ecological crisis in the Gulf Coast.

For more information, call (847) 491-7980 or visit http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/epc/.
Topics: Campus Life