After the Spill: Effects and New Threats to Dolphins in Barataria Bay

Friday, March 10, 1pm, Weinmann Hall, Room TBD

Did you know that there is a unique group of dolphins that live in Barataria Bay, Louisiana and that they are currently in serious peril? There have been significant deaths, strandings, and aborted pregnancies causing the population to decline since the BP oil spill. New threats are further endangering the Barataria dolphins, including a water diversion project planned for the Bay and massive overfishing of the dolphins’ food source – a tiny fish called menhaden. The panel will review the need versus impacts of the diversion project, discuss how lack of menhaden fishing regulations prevents the dolphins’ recovery, and what legal solutions exist to protect this fragile community.

emilyposner2Emily Posner,  Esq., Recirculating Farms Coalition

Emily Posner received her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2013. Her main practice areas of expertise are in high-level criminal defense, civil rights and environmental justice. In addition to solo practice, since graduation from law school, she has worked as the Policy and Legislative Counsel for the Recirculating Farms Coalition, in New Orleans. There, Emily coordinates various policy and state legislative initiatives related to food, agriculture and fisheries issues. While at Loyola she was awarded the 2013 Public Service Award from the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and the 2010 Roger Baldwin Award from the Maine Civil Liberties Union. She earned a B.A. from Colby College in Latin American Studies.

Cynthia Sarthou, Executive Director, Gulf Restoration Networkcyn-sarthou-pic

Cyn is responsible for the day to day operations and staff management at the GRN. She is primarily responsible for foundation fundraising, and also works to elevate regional issues to a national level, and monitors federal agency action affecting coastal and marine endangered species in Gulf states. Cyn received her B.A. from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, her law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1983, and her Masters of Law in Law and Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in 1992.

David Muth, Director, Gulf Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation.