Helping Communities Participate in the NEPA Scoping Process

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Helping Communities Participate in the NEPA Scoping Process

08.24.2017 | By Amy StreitwieserEnvironmental Law Institute

In mid-July, I traveled to Louisiana with fellow ELI Gulf Team member Teresa Chan to host three workshops with the Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition. Held in three different parishes, these workshops were intended to help the community meaningfully participate in the “scoping” process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion by providing some background on the project, explaining what scoping is, and discussing how the public can participate. Nearly 60 people attended the workshops, where there were lots of lively discussions!  Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion …

This Tool Lets You See Flood Risk to Your Own Home

06.09.2017 | Posted by Simone Maloz, Executive Director, Restore or Retreat

Want to know more about flood risk in your own backyard, zeroing in on your very address? Want to know more about Louisiana Coastal Master Plan projects that will help reduce that risk? Then check out the best kept secret in coastal Louisiana: the Master Plan Data Viewer launched by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Click here to see the Master Plan Data Viewer The easy-to-use viewer displays information on coastal land change, flood risk and impacts to communities. This …

Collaborative Governance: How We Can All Guide the Future of Our Coast

04.11.2017 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Program Assistant, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

Collaborative Governance. A concept that is exactly what it sounds like. The involvement of a diverse group of stakeholders, both public and private, that meet to inspire and attain a common agreement on public policy. Getting multiple stakeholder groups together to formulate a common understanding is imperative for the survival of coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta. With each passing hour, day and year, Louisiana’s coast disappears into the Gulf of Mexico. It isn’t just one landowner or community …

Getting Down to Basics: The Environmental Impact Statement Process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

04.05.2017 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

As CPRA advances the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion and other priority projects toward construction, Restore the Mississippi River Delta staff experts will aim to give you updates on key steps of the process. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion aims to be “the first controlled sediment diversion reconnecting the Mississippi river with its delta,” Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) indicated in a recent press release, and, recently, there have been some important developments toward that end. In March, CPRA announced that …

Back Barrier Marsh: A Key Component of Caminada Headland Restoration

03.24.2017 | Posted by Estelle Robichaux, Senior Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund

Earlier this week, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) highlighted completion of the Caminada Headland beach & dune restoration project. The restored areas of this headland are an essential part of one of our priority projects, Belle Pass to Caminada Pass Restoration – but they are only part of the picture! There’s more to barrier islands and headlands than sandy beaches and dunes. An important part of healthy barrier islands and headlands is what’s called “back barrier marsh.” This …

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 …

Diversions, Old Vegetation and New Vegetation

By Jenneke Visser, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, & Andy Nyman, Louisiana State University This is part five of the series “Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs.” See previous parts on the Sediment Diversion Operations Expert Working Group, Hydrodynamics of a sediment diversion, Geology of land building using sediment diversions, and Building land while balancing historic and cultural effects. In the last 50 years, coastal Louisiana has …

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5 Reasons Why Other States (And You!) Should Care About Louisiana’s Coastal Land Loss Crisis

By Christina Rouse, Restoration Projects Intern, Environmental Defense Fund Outside Louisiana state lines, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the Mississippi River Delta. Spatial distance lends itself to mental distance, and adopting an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude seems second-nature. While other cities and states face environmental problems of their own, make no mistake: the ecosystem services and resources produced within Louisiana provide for not only local inhabitants, but all Americans. As someone interested in environmental issues, I …

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Rebuilding and Restoring the Caminada Headland

08.11.2016 | Posted by Simone Maloz, Executive Director, Restore or Retreat

I have always loved the beach, and now, even more so, knowing that the restoration of critical habitat is near complete on the Caminada Headland! With funding available from criminal fines as a result of the 2010 oil spill, the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration Project kicked back into high gear in 2015, thanks to over $144 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The funds, which are on top of the previous $70 million from the …

Building Land While Balancing Historic and Cultural Effects

08.10.2016 | By Shirley Laska, Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of New Orleans, Co-founder: Lowlander Center

This is part four of the series “Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs.” See parts one, two and three. “How a large sediment diversion along the lower Mississippi River is operated will determine the success or diminished benefit of such a very costly effort.” Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs Success will be defined by …

The Geology of Land Building Using Mississippi River Sediment Diversions

08.03.2016 | By Dr. Alex Kolker, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Tulane University

This is part three of the series “Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs.” View parts one and two. Successfully operating a sediment diversion in Louisiana requires that we understand how water and sediment naturally flow in places where the river enters the coast. The basic physical processes are relatively simple. When a sediment-rich river, like the Mississippi, enters an open bay, the flow spreads out and sediments …

Exploring the Hydrodynamics of a Sediment Diversion at Mid-Barataria

08.01.2016 | By Dr. J. Alex McCorquodale, Professor and FMI Endowed Chair, University of New Orleans

This is part two of the series “Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs.” See part one here. Historically, the Mississippi River has periodically overtopped its natural levee and flooded the adjacent wetlands with sediment-laden water. This natural process has been interrupted by the construction of flood control levees, and the available sediment has been reduced by the construction of upriver reservoirs. The proposed introduction of diversions from …

Summer Boat Tour: Multiple Lines of Defense

07.29.2016 | Posted by Amanda Moore, Deputy Director, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

What better way to spend a morning than on a boat, skirting storms and learning about the wetlands and levee system that protect the Greater New Orleans area? Last week, National Wildlife Federation, partnering with the City of New Orleans on a summer field trip series, led four boats filled with community leaders on a tour of the wetlands along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) and the $1.1billion Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier. Our enthusiastic participants, including government …

Recommendations for Operating a Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs

07.27.2016 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

This is part one of the series “Building Land in Coastal Louisiana: Expert Recommendations for Operating a Successful Sediment Diversion that Balances Ecosystem and Community Needs.” This series will explore key recommendations for operating sediment diversions as outlined by the independent Sediment Diversion Operations Expert Working Group. The use of sediment diversions, a restoration tool that mimics the natural processes of the Mississippi River to build and sustain land, has been proposed for decades in coastal Louisiana. While we move …

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Restoration Solutions: Sediment Diversions

The State of Louisiana is advancing two sediment diversions south of New Orleans. These projects are on track to begin construction by 2020 using funding from the BP oil spill. Multiple projects working together are needed to build and sustain land, but sediment diversions are a crucial foundation needed to confront Louisiana's ongoing land loss crisis. Learn more about sediment diversions in the fact sheet below.