Delta Dispatches – The Economics of Coastal Restoration

Welcome to Delta Dispatches, with your host Simone Maloz. Simone is joined by Dr. Robert Habans, Economist with The Data Center and Dr. Loren C. Scott, President of Dr. Loren C. Scott and Associates, Inc. to discuss new economic reports with relevance on Louisiana’s coast. Kristin Tracz, Program Officer with the Walton Family Foundation, joins as a guest co-hosts!   Listen Now:

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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5 Places in Plaquemines Parish Building Land Because of the Mississippi River

10.09.2018 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

A river runs through Plaquemines Parish, but it’s not just any river. It’s one of the largest in the world – the Mighty Mississippi. The river and its distributaries built Plaquemines Parish over the last 1,000 years, depositing sediment and building thousands of acres of highly productive wetlands. Levees, built along the river for navigation and flood protection, have helped communities in the parish to flourish but have also nearly completely cut off the river from the delta it once …

A Cornerstone for Coastal Restoration: The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

09.12.2018 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Analyst, Coastal Projects and Programs, Environmental Defense Fund

To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits to reduce land loss, restore ecosystems, and maintain healthy and diverse habitat. In our “Restoration Project Highlights” series, we take a deeper look at specific projects from our list of Priority Projects, highlighting why they’re needed and hearing local perspectives on importance. Louisiana’s Barataria Basin has experienced some of the highest rates of land loss in the country: Between …

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 …

Legal Action from the State on Mid-Barataria Delays Will Be Necessary Without Agreement

To avoid continued devastating land loss, Plaquemines Parish needs action, not politics (NEW ORLEANS – June 20, 2018)  Earlier today, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Board voted to proceed with legal action to ensure continued progress on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion if the State could not come to an agreement with the Plaquemines Parish government. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, a cornerstone Master Plan coastal restoration project that has been studied for decades, is currently in Engineering & Design …

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Facing Continued Land Loss, Mississippi River Delta Needs Diversions More Than Ever

04.12.2018 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin Snider, Senior Director, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund

MODIS Imagery of Louisiana on May 6, 2017 from Louisiana State University’s Earth Scan Laboratory (https://www.esl.lsu.edu/imagery/MODIS/2017/05/6/) showing the sediment plume from the Mississippi River. The future of the Mississippi River Delta will likely look drastically different than it does now. As sea level rise increases, we need to be smart about where and how we build land along Louisiana’s coast. A viable future for coastal Louisiana means a smaller delta, and using sediment diversions to strategically build and maintain land …

Decoding Diversion Permitting: What the Federal Dashboard Means for Restoring Coastal Louisiana

04.04.2018 | Posted by Maura Wood, Partnership Manager, Coastal Louisiana Restoration, National Wildlife Federation

It’s official! The Federal Permitting Dashboard has been updated for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project! The CPP is revised! Most importantly, the target date for completing permitting has moved up by almost two years! It’s pretty cool stuff, but you might be asking, “What’s a dashboard?” or “What is a CPP?!”  So allow us to explain. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project will reconnect the Mississippi River with the wetlands in the Barataria Basin, an area with one of the highest …

Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Takes Another Step Forward

01.25.2018 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

Did you hear the news? Last week, while most of us here in Louisiana were working hard to keep warm, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion reached a milestone when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the project’s scoping report. This critical restoration project is needed to restore natural delta processes by reconnecting the river to surrounding wetlands and divert sediment, nutrients and fresh water to build new land, maintain existing marshes and increase habitat resiliency to sea level rise …

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 …

Let’s Get Muddy: How A Mixture of Mud and Sand Can Help Revive Louisiana’s Wetlands

08.17.2017 | By Meghan Fullam, Mississippi River Restoration Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund

With the recent unanimous passage of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, the State of Louisiana is working hard to advance priority restoration projects, including numerous sediment diversions. These project types have been called a “cornerstone” of our efforts to restore and protect Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. As such, it’s important to understand the valuable resource they help capture and deliver to our wetlands: sediment. This is a fancy word for the sands, silts, clays and muds that flow through the Mississippi …

Can We Build Stable Land in the Mississippi River Delta with River Sediments?

08.09.2017 | By Alexander S. Kolker, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University

Does partially diverting the flow of the Mississippi River help build land, or can it contribute to wetland erosion? It’s a question that has plagued Louisiana scientists for over a decade. This controversy developed in the years after Hurricane Katrina, when scientists noticed that there were large areas of wetland loss near the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion. Some looked at this situation and thought that the problem was that freshwater marshes, which are a major type of wetlands created by river …

Project Synergies: Getting the Most Bang for our Buck from Coastal Restoration

07.27.2017 | By Emily Ewing, Restoration Projects Intern, Environmental Defense Fund

Coastal restoration is not cheap. Most projects cost on the order of millions, sometimes billions, to plan, design and construct. Such high stakes call for solutions that provide the greatest benefit over the long term. But how do you select projects that provide the most bang for the buck? Part of the answer lies in project synergies and complementary projects. What are synergies? Synergies are the interactions between projects that happen based on project scale, location and timing of construction …