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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens and landscapes of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

News

USGS: Science for a changing world
September 21, 2017

This page contains the weekly highlights from the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center for the week of 9/112017 - 9/15/2017! Please take a look and see what we have been up to!

Photo Highlighting Predicted Erosion and Inundation areas in Texas
September 15, 2017

Pre- and post-storm photo comparisons using NOAA imagery

USGS: Science for a changing world
August 23, 2017

A non-native insect infestation may not be the only factor involved in the ongoing die-back of a marsh grass in the Mississippi River’s “bird foot delta,” the ecologically and economically important part of coastal Louisiana where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.

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Harvey
August 29, 2017

Where: Westdale Heights Academic Magnet school, Baton Rouge, LA

Background:  Dennis Demcheck has been volunteering at the public school since 2012, discussing bird identification, migration patterns, and drawing birds. The presentation emphasized scientific observation and the importance of accurate data collection.

Partners/Stakeholders: None. Dennis talked to...

Apple snail remains after being preyed upon by a raccoon
August 1, 2017

The maculata apple snail (Pomacea maculata) has invaded many coastal and some inland areas in south Louisiana. Reports have indicated that the freshwater snails have significantly reduced the amount of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and floating leaved vegetation (FLV) available for waterfowl and other wildlife.

Sediment Sampling in Louisiana Photo
July 10, 2017

LOWER MISSISSIPPI-GULF WSC - BATON ROUGE SEDIMENT LAB PRICE LIST - 2018 FISCAL YEAR

2018

FISCAL YEAR

(Effective date will begin with samples received
by the Laboratory after October 1, 2017)...

Sparta Aquifer Recovery Project Wells Map - Arkansas
July 5, 2017

The Sparta aquifer is Union County's only source of municipal and industrial ground water. Since development began in the early 1920's ground-water levels have declined more than 390 feet in some areas. As a result, Union was among five southern Arkansas counties designated as the state's first "Critical Ground Water Area" in 1996.

Partners include:...

Sparta Aquifer Recovery Project - Illustration - Arkansas
June 30, 2017

Short Title: Sparta Recovery Project

Project Chief: Anna Nottmeier

Cooperators: Union County Water Conservation Board

Project Time Frame: 2002 - present

The Sparta aquifer is a confined aquifer of great regional importance and is a major water resource for municipal...

Cypress Swamp Egret - Louisiana
June 24, 2017

Links to Sources of Water Information

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters and disseminates the data to the public, State and local governments, public and private utilities, and other Federal agencies involved with managing water resources

The map to the left allows you to...

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Monitoring Sites
June 23, 2017

To view the interactive map of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Monitoring Sites click here.

Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basins - SPARROW
June 23, 2017

SPARROW, a modeling tool for the regional interpretation of water-quality monitoring data. The model relates in-stream water-quality measurements to spatially referenced characteristics of watersheds, including contaminant sources and factors influencing terrestrial and aquatic transport. SPARROW empirically estimates the origin and fate of contaminants in river networks and quantifies...

Shreveport Area—Caddo and Bossier Parishes
June 23, 2017

Flooding is a concern for everyone in Louisiana. Floods demand immediate and decisive action by governmental entities, businesses, and individual citizens, all of whom have to make critical decisions that directly impact the extent, duration, and mitigation of losses resulting from flooding. How high will the water get? How long will the flood last? What areas will be affected? What roads will...

Hardened Gages—Built to Survive
June 23, 2017

1 June 2010

Hurricane season starts today, and the USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center is committed to collecting and providing the most up-to-date information before, during, and after the storms that are sure to come our way. When a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching, accurate and timely storm data are crucial in making good decisions regarding personal safety and...

Hurricane Irene, satellite view, NASA
June 23, 2017

USGS Information and Links

Hurricane Hazards—A National Threat (fact sheet)

USGS Natural Hazards - Hurricanes

Hurricane Forecast Information

National Hurricane Center—(NWS)

Current Tropical Forecast Information

GOES-8 Atlantic Infrared Imagery

GOES-8 Atlantic Visible Imagery

Earth Scan Laboratory—(LSU)

GOES-8...

WERC marsh during a storm
June 23, 2017

USGS Louisiana Coastal Sites

Hurricane season starts today, and the USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center is committed to collecting and providing the most up-to-date information before, during, and after the storms that are sure to come our way. When a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching, accurate and timely storm data is crucial in making good decisions regarding...

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Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
August 30, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

The National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper provides access to water-resources data at over 1.5 million sites across the U.S., including current and historical data. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Louisiana Current Water Conditions Image
November 29, 2016

Louisiana Current Water Conditions

See Current Water Conditions for Louisiana using our new interactive map. Here you can find information on Groundwater, Surface Water and Water Quality.

CIMS logo
April 20, 2016

Coastal Information Management System (CIMS)

WARC's Advanced Applications Team is responsible for data management and application development to support the biological monitoring components of coastal restoration projects in the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority portfolio. 

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations.

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries Data

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

Hydrography Data

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and Fall.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Fish on seafloor, Offshore Northern California
April 18, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photography Portal

This portal contains U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. These data were collected as part of several USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Seafloor Mapping projects and Hurricane and Extreme Storm research.

Orthoimagery of Augusta Ga
April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Small Scale Collection USA
April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

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Louisiana
September 30, 2016

River and Coastal Forecast Information

Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, Slidell, Louisiana—(NWS)

 

Hurricane Louisiana Coast
September 14, 2016

June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season. Should storms arrive on the Louisiana coast, the people in coastal communities across the State, along with many Federal, State, and local agencies will need to know how the storms are affecting the coastal and low-lying areas.The USGS maintains an extensive network of coastal gages that provides critical time-sensitive water level.

MAP study area
September 14, 2016

Subsurface geometry of the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS)

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Map shows color-coded seafloor character offshore of Monterey, California
March 7, 2016

This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.

small excerpt of Yosemite Valley topographic map in shades of green and brown
September 30, 2005

River and Coastal Forecast Information

Mississippi and Ohio River 7-Day Summary and Forecast

 

Sparta Aquifer Monitoring and Sampling Map - AR/LA
November 10, 2003

The Union County Water Conservation Board with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a study in 2003 with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Union County Conservation District, Burns & McDonnell to monitor the impact of water-level recovery and water-quality characteristics of the Sparta aquifer system in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana.

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Year Published: 2017

Land area change in coastal Louisiana (1932 to 2016)

Coastal Louisiana wetlands are one of the most critically threatened environments in the United States. These wetlands are in peril because Louisiana currently experiences greater coastal wetland loss than all other States in the contiguous United States combined. The analyses of landscape change presented here have utilized historical surveys,...

Couvillion, Brady R.; Beck, Holly; Schoolmaster, Donald; Fischer, Michelle
Couvillion, B.R., Beck, Holly, Schoolmaster, Donald, and Fischer, Michelle, 2017, Land area change in coastal Louisiana 1932 to 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3381, 16 p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3381.

Year Published: 2017

Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans in the Gulf Coast Waterdog, Necturus beyeri, from Southeast Louisiana, USA

The globally widespread amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been linked to amphibian declines worldwide (Lips et al. 2006; Skerratt et al. 2007). In Louisiana, USA, Bd has been found in several amphibian species (Chatfield et al. 2012; Rothermel et al. 2008), but to our knowledge no population-level die-offs have been...

Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.
Glorioso, B., Waddle, H., and Richards-Zawacki, C.L., 2017, Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans in the Gulf Coast Waterdog, Necturus beyeri, from Southeast Louisiana, USA: Herpetological Review, v. 48, no. 2, p. 360-363.

Year Published: 2017

Nocturnal arboreality in snakes in the swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin of south-central Louisiana and Big Thicket National Preserve of Southeast Texas

The southeastern United States is home to a diverse assemblage of snakes, but only one species, the Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus), is considered specialized for a predominantly arboreal lifestyle. Other species, such as Ratsnakes (genus Pantherophis) and Ribbonsnakes/Gartersnakes (genus Thamnophis), are widely known to climb into...

Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin
Glorioso, B.M., and Waddle, J.H., 2017, Nocturnal arboreality in snakes in the swamplands of the Atchafalaya Basin of south-central Louisiana and Big Thicket National Preserve of Southeast Texas: Journal of North American Herpetology, v. 2017, no. 1, p. 11-18, http://www.cnah.org/pdf/88616.pdf.

Year Published: 2017

Macroclimatic change expected to transform coastal wetland ecosystems this century

Coastal wetlands, existing at the interface between land and sea, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Macroclimate (for example, temperature and precipitation regimes) greatly influences coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. However, research on climate change impacts in coastal wetlands has concentrated primarily on sea-level...

Gabler, Christopher A.; Osland, Michael J.; Grace, James B.; Stagg, Camille L.; Day, Richard H.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; From, Andrew; McCoy, Meagan L.; McLeod, Jennie L.
Gabler, C.A., Osland, M.J., Grace, J.B., Stagg, C.L., Day, R.H., Hartley, S.B., Enwright, N.M., From, A.S., McCoy, M.L., and McLeod, J.L., 2017, Macroclimatic change expected to transform coastal wetland ecosystems this century: Nature Climate Change, Advanced Online, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3203.

Year Published: 2017

A modeling study of the impacts of Mississippi River diversion and sea-level rise on water quality of a deltaic estuary

Freshwater and sediment management in estuaries affects water quality, particularly in deltaic estuaries. Furthermore, climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) and land subsidence also affect estuarine water quality by changing salinity, circulation, stratification, sedimentation, erosion, residence time, and other physical and ecological...

Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; Hu, Kelin; LaPeyre, Megan K.

Year Published: 2016

Determining the spatial variability of wetland soil bulk density, organic matter, and the conversion factor between organic matter and organic carbon across coastal Louisiana, U.S.A.

Soil bulk density (BD), soil organic matter (SOM) content, and a conversion factor between SOM and soil organic carbon (SOC) are often used in estimating SOC sequestration and storage. Spatial variability in BD, SOM, and the SOM–SOC conversion factor affects the ability to accurately estimate SOC sequestration, storage, and the benefits (e.g.,...

Wang, Hongqing; Piazza, Sarai C.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Stagg, Camille L.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Steyer, Gregory D.; McGinnis, Thomas E.
Wang, H., Piazza, S.C., Sharp, L.A., Stagg, C.L., Couvillion, B.R., Steyer, G.D., and McGinnis, T.E., 2016, Determining the spatial variability of wetland soil bulk density, organic matter, and the conversion factor between organic matter and organic carbon across coastal Louisiana, U.S.A.: Journal of Coastal Research, http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00014.1, and http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00014.1.

Year Published: 2016

Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms

We evaluate the relative impact of petroleum spill and storm surge on near-shore wetland loss by quantifying the lateral movement of coastal shores in upper Barataria Bay, Louisiana (USA), between June 2009 and October 2012, a study period that extends from the year prior to the Deepwater Horizon spill to 2.5 years following the spill. We document...

Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.; Ramsey, Elijah W.
Rangoonwala, A., Jones, C.E., and Ramsey, E.W., III, 2016, Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms: Geophysical Research Letters, Early View, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070624.

Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Year Published: 2016

Physiology of the invasive apple snail Pomacea maculata: tolerance to low temperatures

Apple snails of the genus Pomacea native to South America have invaded and become established in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Both the channeled apple snail Pomacea canaliculata and the island apple snail Pomacea maculata have been reported in the United States. The two species are difficult to distinguish using morphological characters,...

Deaton, Lewis E.; Schmidt, William ; Leblanc, Brody ; Carter, Jacoby; Mueck, Kristy ; Merino, Sergio
Deaton, L.E., Schmidt, W., LeBlanc, B., Carter, J., Mueck, K., and Merino, S., 2016, Physiology of the invasive apple snail Pomacea maculata: tolerance to low temperatures: Journal of Shellfish Research, v. 35, no. 1, p. 207-210, http://dx.doi.org/10.2983/035.035.0122.

Year Published: 2013

Landscape-level estimation of nitrogen removal in coastal Louisiana wetlands: potential sinks under different restoration scenarios

Coastal eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is the primary anthropogenic contributor to the largest zone of hypoxic bottom waters in North America. Although biologically mediated processes such as denitrification (Dn) are known to act as sinks for inorganic nitrogen, it is unknown what contribution denitrification makes to...

Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.; Branoff, Benjamin; Meselhe, Ehab; McCorquodale, Alex; Dortch, Mark; Steyer, Gregory D.; Visser, Jenneke; Wang, Hongqing
Landscape-level estimation of nitrogen removal in coastal Louisiana wetlands: potential sinks under different restoration scenarios; 2013; Article; Journal; Journal of Coastal Research; Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.; Branoff, Benjamin; Meselhe, Ehab; McCorquodale, Alex; Dortch, Mark; Steyer, Gregory D.; Visser, Jenneke; Wang, Hongqing

Year Published: 2013

Economic vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast

The northern Gulf of Mexico coast of the United States has been identified as highly vulnerable to sea-level rise, based on a combination of physical and societal factors. Vulnerability of human populations and infrastructure to projected increases in sea level is a critical area of uncertainty for communities in the extremely low-lying and flat...

Thatcher, Cindy A.; Brock, John C.; Pendleton, Elizabeth A.
Economic vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast; 2013; Article; Journal; Journal of Coastal Research; Thatcher, Cindy A.; Brock, John C.; Pendleton, Elizabeth A.

Year Published: 2011

Estimating occupancy dynamics in an anuran assemblage from Louisiana, USA

Effective monitoring programs are designed to track changes in the distribution, occurrence, and abundance of species. We developed an extension of Royle and Kéry's (2007) single species model to estimate simultaneously temporal changes in probabilities of detection, occupancy, colonization, extinction, and species turnover using data on...

Walls, Susan C.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Dorazio, Robert M.

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Graph of the rate of change in Lousiana coastal wetlands from the 1930s to the present
2017 (approx.)
Graph of land area change rate in coastal Louisiana from 1932–2016. The red line approximates the long-term land area change rate. 95 out of 100 statistical analyses would produce a very similar trend (dotted blue lines). Credit: USGS
2017 (approx.)
Before a hurricane, USGS Scientists undertake a data collection effort of a grand scale. They install a temporary mobile network of sensors along the coasts to collect additional data on the intensity of storm surge, one of the most dangerous elements of a hurricane. This effort provides critical information that allows various USGS partners and emergency responders to make better informed...
August 31, 2017
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25th. Over the next few days, record rain totals had devastated the area. At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface. USGS EROS Center ( https://eros.usgs.gov/ )
Satellite picture of Hurricane Harvey
August 26, 2017
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane on the night of August 25, 2017. It then stalled over southeastern Texas as a tropical storm and continued to creep northeast over Louisiana.
August 7, 2017
This webinar was conducted on August 7, 2017 as part of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center’s Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership with the USFWS National Conservation Training Center. Webinar Summary: The South Central U.S. is one of the main agricultural regions in North America: annual agricultural production is valued at more than...
chart of vegetation change in the bird's foot delta
2017 (approx.)
Chart showing changes in vegetation density in the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, May 2015-May 2016. From a USGS Open File Report published in July 2017 by co-authors Elijah Ramsey III and Amina Rangoonwala,
Map shows early wetland losses in red, recent losses in purple
July 10, 2017
This map shows the historic trend in wetland losses, with early losses in red and the most recent ones in purple.
Satellite images of the same marsh in 2008 and 2016
2017 (approx.)
Satellite images of the same wetland taken in 2008 and 2016 show a wetland restoration project has produced some gains in marsh area.
Phragmites under stress in Pass A Loutre, Louisiana
2017 (approx.)
Brown patches and brown stems show stress in this phagmites (roseau cane) stand in Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area, a tract of state-owned land in Louisiana's bird foot delta, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. An ongoing phragmites was first discovered in spring 2017 and blamed on an invasive scale insect from Asia. But a new USGS report, based on satellite imaging and...
Scientist holding a laptop and equipment, standing in a green field.
2017 (approx.)
Vegetation assessments are part of an effort to produce seamless, consistent, and high resolution landcover data for the northern portion of the western gulf coastal plain. This geography was once dominated by tallgrass prairie and has undergone dramatic change with less than 1% of this natural habitat in existence. Tallgrass prairie provides a suite of ecosystem services including enhancing...
Satellite image showing New Orleans and Mississippi River delta
March 31, 2017
This image of the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain area in Louisiana was acquired March 31, 2017, from the Indian Space Research Organization’s Resourcesat-2 LISS-3 sensor. Land loss and hurricane hazards are key landscape issues here.
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USGS: Science for a changing world
September 21, 2017

This page contains the weekly highlights from the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center for the week of 9/112017 - 9/15/2017! Please take a look and see what we have been up to!

Photo Highlighting Predicted Erosion and Inundation areas in Texas
September 15, 2017

Pre- and post-storm photo comparisons using NOAA imagery

USGS: Science for a changing world
August 23, 2017

A non-native insect infestation may not be the only factor involved in the ongoing die-back of a marsh grass in the Mississippi River’s “bird foot delta,” the ecologically and economically important part of coastal Louisiana where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

A submarine-ground-water-discharge site at Florida State University's Marine Lab at just after sunset
June 20, 2017

Larger-than-average low and no oxygen area may affect the region’s shrimp fisheries

Two men collecting groundwater samples at a public well in the middle of a grassy field in Texas
May 31, 2017

Decades or longer may be needed to fully assess the effects of unconventional oil and gas production on the quality of groundwater used for drinking water in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas

The Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion structure, located at the head of Breton Sound Estuary, became operational in 1992.
February 8, 2017

New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries. 

Wading birds feed near wooden posts marking a research site in a Louisiana salt marsh
January 25, 2017

Changes in rainfall and temperature are predicted to transform wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world within the century, a new study from the USGS and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley concludes.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Coastal Lowlands aquifer system in the southeastern United States is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.