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New Orleans: Global Warming Disaster

October 16, 2006

William Sargent, environmental writer; NOVA consultant

This lecture chronicles the unique history of this charming southern city while exploring the engineering mistakes made when building New Orleans. Sargent discusses the present state of New Orleans and what can be done to prevent future damage. He describes the Old River Control Structure and proposals to divert the Mississippi to rebuild new marshes. He explains why shrimp, crab, and oyster catching has improved since Hurricane Katrina. Finally, this lecture explores the significance of this tragedy and the US's difficult task to protect itself from future hurricanes.

Bill Sargent is a consultant for the NOVA Science series. His books include The House on Ipswich Marsh, Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Bioterrorism and Human Health, and A Year in the Notch: Exploring the Natural History of the White Mountains. Formerly director of the Baltimore Aquarium and a research assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he has taught at The Briarwood Center for Marine Biology and at Harvard University.