114 community leaders ask the Corps to make a win-win decision for a threatened swamp

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114 community leaders ask the Corps to make a win-win decision for a threatened swamp

03.03.2020 | Posted by Halle Parker, Communication Associate, Audubon Louisiana

More than 100 business, parish and community leaders mobilized over the past few weeks, signing their entities onto a request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to contribute to the state’s River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project to balance what will be lost in the construction of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee.  The widely-supported Maurepas Swamp project aims to deliver sediment and fresh water from the Mississippi River to 45,000 acres existing wetlands and forests in the East …

Lessons from Davis Pond – A Case Study in Adaptive Management

12.11.2019 | By Stephanie Oehler, Public Interest Law Fellow, Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

Even with extensive planning and design efforts, when restoration projects are implemented unanticipated impacts may arise. Through adaptive management, an ongoing process of monitoring and adjusting plans based on observed results, agencies can minimize negative effects and maximize the positive ones by making necessary modifications as issues emerge. Adaptive management is particularly useful in contexts where there is uncertainty—regarding how technology will perform, how the environment will react, or how communities will be impacted—that cannot be fully accounted for in …

Using the Mississippi River to Build Land at Fort St. Phillip

12.05.2019 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

The Fort St. Phillip Crevasse in Plaquemines Parish resulted from the Mississippi River Flood of 1973, one of the largest floods ever recorded. Levee failures upriver in St. Louis, Missouri led to three out of four of the lower Mississippi’s floodways being operated to reduce flood pressure against levees, maintain navigation along the river and protect nearby communities. About 20 miles upriver from where the toes of the Mississippi’s Birdsfoot Delta meet the Gulf of Mexico, the river breached the …

4 ways coastal change is impacting Louisiana’s economy

By Dr. Robert Habans, Economist, The Data Center While Louisiana’s challenges with coastal land loss are difficult to understate, billions of dollars of investments in restoration, protection and adaptation are creating emerging, sustainable industries that are increasingly central to the regional economy of Southeast Louisiana. In The Coastal Index, The Data Center examines the potential for coastal restoration and water management investments from an economic development perspective[1]. The design and construction of water infrastructure create good-paying, accessible jobs and contracting …

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If you care about our coast or fishing, you should know about Hydrocoast!

10.28.2019 | Posted by John Lopez, Director, Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Louisiana’s coast is dynamic. This simple but profoundly important trait of coastal Louisiana is largely due to the fact that water is always moving around our coast. This plays out in a variety of ways in our coastal estuaries, where fresh water from the Mississippi River mixes with salty water from the Gulf. Rain falls, and rivers flood fresh water areas. An east wind blows, and an extra high tide pushes salty Gulf water inland. Every day, the tides driven …

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New Study Shows Construction of Sediment Diversions Will Deliver Significant Economic Benefits

Construction will increase regional sales by $3 billion and support nearly 4,000 jobs over seven years (NEW ORLEANS, LA – Oct. 16, 2019) A new report released today by Dr. Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc. details the regional economic impacts of building the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton sediment diversions. The report, “The Economic Impact of Constructing the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion Projects” showcases how local and state businesses, governments and residents will benefit economically during the combined seven-year period …

Maurepas Swamp Diversion Selected as Priority in Gulf Restoration Plan

Project would help sustain world-renowned swamp, provide protection for Baton Rouge and other communities (NEW ORLEANS, LA – October 9, 2019) Today the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) announced restoration priorities to consider across the Gulf, which included investing in a critical diversion project in Louisiana’s Maurepas Swamp. The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project would reconnect one of the largest forested wetlands complexes in the nation with the Mississippi River to aid in preventing further wetland loss and …

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MRGO Closure Has a Greater Impact on Coastal Restoration and Recovery Than Ever Imagined

10.04.2019 | Posted by John Lopez, Director, Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

After decades of decline, the Pontchartrain Basin is ready for restoration as a result of the closure of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). The closures, a navigational closure and a surge barrier, have managed to bring historical salinity gradients back to over a million acres of coastal habitat. This means that the basin will be able to support a variety of species, ranging from cypress trees to oysters, while work is done to restore the vital storm surge buffer …

The Bivalve that Could Help Save the Coast

09.18.2019 | By By Deborah Abibou, Restoration Programs Director, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Oysters are a part of our culture Oysters are a Louisiana cornerstone—they’re tasty, they’re beautiful, they bring people together and they just might save the coast. The unparalleled Louisiana oyster is equally at home in the bourgeoisie fine dining establishments and the laissez-faire po’ boy shop, and they have landed in some of the region’s signature dishes: oysters Rockefeller, oyster dressing and seafood gumbo. Culinary kudos aside, these intricate invertebrates hide a strikingly beautiful surprise on the inside. Their artistic …

5 Reasons Why 2019’s Mississippi River Flood is the Most Unprecedented of Our Time

06.27.2019 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

2019 has been an unprecedented and historic year on the Mississippi River. This year’s flood has broken records set in 1973 and even 1927 – two years with river floods whose impacts are still felt and that shaped how the Mississippi River is managed today. Since November 2, 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has been working tirelessly to manage the river’s flood waters and prevent additional flooding to communities across the Mississippi River Valley. While communities upriver …

Optimizing River Diversions in Order to Maximize Sediment Retention and Land Building

05.23.2019 | By Molly Keogh, Coastal Geologist

Over the last century, human engineering of the Mississippi River has greatly reduced the amount of sediment delivered to wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta. Half of the river’s sediment is trapped behind upstream dams and, in the lower river, levees block the rest of the sediment from reaching wetlands during floods. Yet, despite the river’s reduced sediment load, the rapid growth of the Wax Lake Delta in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin shows that the remaining sediment in the Mississippi River …

Explore the Largest Coastal Restoration Project Completed In Louisiana’s History

08.02.2018 | Posted by Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society

Restoration Project Reading List What is Needed to Protect and Restore one of the Gulf Coast’s Largest Swamps? Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion: What It Is and Why It’s Needed A Tale of Two Basins: Why One is Thriving While the Other is Dying Watch: Coast 360, A Virtual Day in the Delta To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits and reduce land loss, restore ecosystems and maintain …

The Mississippi River is Our Greatest Force for Building Land

07.25.2018 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

Skip to a section 1. Diversions Build Land. Period. 2. While not a Sediment Diversion, the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion Builds Land 3. Wetlands Need Sediment to Survive 4. Roots + Sediment = Stronger Soils, More Resilient Marshes 5. There is more to Sediment than Sand 6. Diversions are Field-Tested and Scientifically Solid 7. The Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion is a Coastal Restoration Project, Not MRGO 8. Diversions + Nutrients = Dynamic Estuaries Over the past several months, we have been …

Plaquemines Gazette Letter to the Editor: River Diversions

07.10.2018 | By Alexander S. Kolker, Ph.D. Associate Professor Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

This piece was originally published in the Plaquemines Gazette and has been reprinted here with permission of the owner. Please visit PlaqueminesGazette.com to subscribe and see the original article. Dear Editor, Many people today are asking questions about what river diversions will do to our coast. These questions are particularly important in Plaquemines Parish, where several of the diversions in Louisiana’s coastal Master Plan will be located. Central to the Master Plan is the idea that sending Mississippi River and …

What is Needed to Protect and Restore one of the Gulf Coast’s Largest Swamps?

06.12.2018 | By Theryn Henkel

To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits and reduce land loss, restore ecosystems and maintain habitat. In this “Restoration Project Highlights” series, we’ll be taking a deeper look at specific projects from our list of Priority Projects, highlighting why they’re needed and hearing local perspectives about their importance. ​ Act Now: Tell the RESTORE Council to provide funds for this project! The Maurepas swamp is one …