International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
The Mississippi River is flowing at near normal levels again in New Orleans, as measured by this old-fashioned staff gauge behind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District office. The Corps has been fighting saltwater encroaching up the mouth of the Mississippi because of the persistent drought.
Highly detailed sonar systems aboard the research vessel Pritchard gave researchers a clear view of the sediment on the seafloor off Long Island.
Credit Courtesy of John Goff / University Of Texas
John Goff supervises the sonar mapping of the seafloor along the south shore of Long Island. The scientists are trying to track down where Sandy deposited sediment and sand from the barrier islands from the beaches.
Congress has now agreed to give some $60 billion to states damaged by Hurricane Sandy. A lot will go to Long Island, one of the hardest hit areas. Besides damages to homes and businesses, its system of protective barrier islands and beaches were partially washed away.
Scientists are trying to find out where that sand and sediment went, and whether it can be used to rebuild Long Island's defenses.