Mardi Gras Pass is building land. Here’s why it’s important.

Mardi Gras Pass is building land. Here’s why it’s important.

02.23.2017 | Posted by Theryn Henkel, Assistant Director of Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

With Mardi Gras celebrations in full swing, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation recently released a report examining two years of data collection and observations at Mardi Gras Pass – a naturally forming distributary of the Mississippi River that is building new land. What we’re learning at Mardi Gras Pass will help coastal planners better design sediment diversion restoration projects throughout coastal Louisiana. What is Mardi Gras Pass? Mardi Gras Pass is located in the Bohemia Spillway, where the artificial river …

How will a sediment diversion affect the coastal environment? The answer lies in the operations.

02.21.2017 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

Sediment diversions have long been proposed as an essential component in every major restoration plan in coastal Louisiana. Sediment diversions are man-made structures built directly into the Mississippi River levee system with gates that can be opened and closed to allow sediment, fresh water and nutrients to nourish and revive the dying wetlands. In the “Answering 10 Fundamental Questions about the Mississippi River Delta” report, scientists clearly demonstrated that sediment diversions are the most effective tool to build and sustain …

Will Diversions Introduce Nutrients That Harm Wetland Vegetation?

02.13.2017 | Posted by Theryn Henkel, Assistant Director of Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Within the scientific community, and among the general public, there is controversy over the effects that nutrients, introduced through sediment diversions, will have on wetland vegetation. The speculation is that increased nutrients, especially nitrate, will result in decreased root growth. With increased nutrient availability, plant roots will no longer have to “search” for nutrients, resulting in decreased growth. This results in fewer roots to hold and trap soil and organic matter, creating weaker wetlands. In addition, the increase in nutrients …

Is There Enough Sediment in the Mississippi River to Restore Louisiana’s Coast?

02.03.2017 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, National Wildlife Federation

Sediment – the sands, silts, clay and mud of the Mississippi River – is the critical ingredient to coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana. All the types of restoration projects in our toolbox that build land – marsh creation, sediment diversions, ridge restoration and barrier island restoration – rely on sediment. In order to create a more certain future for the people, communities and wildlife of Louisiana, sediment must be treated like the precious resource it is, and as much of …

New Research Helps Scientists Answer Fundamental Questions About Coastal Restoration

01.04.2017 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Program Assistant, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

When a new idea or project is introduced, people ask questions to better understand it. How and why it has come about? How it will affect people and resources? How much it will cost? These are valid questions that deserve well-researched and clear answers, especially when it comes to large-scale ecosystem restoration efforts, such as restoring coastal Louisiana. In 2012, Restore the Mississippi River Delta and the Science and Engineering Special Team set out to answer 10 fundamental questions about …