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 …

Tagged

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

04.12.2018 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, 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 …

Your Voice is Needed for #OurCoast: Attend Upcoming Mid-Barataria Scoping Meetings

07.10.2017 | Posted by Emily Falgoust, Communications Associate, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, National Audubon Society

As the State of Louisiana and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) move forward with the permitting process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion – one of the most important restoration projects in the Coastal Master Plan – your voice and support are needed! The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion would reconnect the river with nearby wetlands and deliver sediment to build and maintain tens of thousands of acres in this crucial area. To get this project constructed, the Corps must follow …

The History of the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

07.07.2017 | By Meghan Fullam, Mississippi River Restoration Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund

As an individual working and studying in the interior United States, I have always been passionate about the assessment and quality of rivers, from the Snake River in Wyoming to the Schuylkill in Pennsylvania. Using the geography of interior waterways, I have worked as an environmental educator and taught students about watersheds and the importance of healthy water resources considering the growing demands of agriculture, industry and urban centers. And yet, there has been no river more powerful than the …

How Will Sediment Diversions Impact Fisheries?

04.27.2017 | By Giovanna McClenachan

Prior to its leveeing and control structures, the Mississippi switched course roughly every 600 to 1,000 years, finding a more efficient route to the Gulf of Mexico as it filled with sediment. Over the course of its history, the Mississippi has had 6 Holocene delta complexes, including the most recent Atchafalaya. Each delta complex experiences stages of compaction, subsidence, and building. This delta switching, combined with the high sediment load (7th highest in the world), has resulted in the current …

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 …

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 …