Coastal Latest & Greatest: 3 Big Wins for Louisiana’s Coast this Week
A weekly round-up of what’s new in Louisiana coastal restoration
1) Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Permitting Timeline Shaved by Two years!
Steve Hardy’s report for The Advocate, “How Monday's decision by the Corps of Engineers will affect Louisiana coastal restoration,” takes a look at the updated permitting timeline for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, which reduces the timeline by two years bringing it to November 2020. CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry lauded the decision saying, “The Mid‐Barataria Sediment Diversion is critical to our future as it addresses the root cause of our coastal crisis by reconnecting the Mississippi River with our basins and restoring the natural process that built our delta.” In an environment where land loss is measured by hours, this is a huge win for the coast!
2) Whiskey Island restoration will be completed this summer!
Whiskey Island was just a sliver of land south of Cocodrie, but, thanks to the Coastal Master Plan, it will soon contain 1000 acres of new land serving as the first line of defense for our coast. CPRA Project Manager Brad Miller says, "The more marsh and the more islands you have, the longer it takes that water to get to the levees. The levees protect the people, and the islands protect the levees.” Check out Della Hasselle’s report for WWNO, “State Builds Barrier Islands To Protect, If Even For A Short Time,” to learn more.
Check out coastal restoration in action! Here's 360° coverage of Whiskey Island, a restoration project near completion where 10.4 million cubic yards of material has been used to create 732 acres of dune and beach habitat and 170 acres of marsh!
Posted by Restore the Mississippi River Delta on Thursday, March 15, 2018
3) Coastal Annual Plan gets first approval!
You’re probably familiar with Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan—the state’s 50-year blueprint for large-scale coastal restoration and protection that is updated every five years. This plan passed unanimously in 2017, but now the legislature must vote on the Coastal Annual Plan that, as described by CPRA, “inventories projects, presents implementation schedules for these projects, and identifies funding schedules and budgets.”
The Annual Plan was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday and will move on to the House Transportation Committee for consideration. Check out Mark Schleifstein’s article, “Annual coastal spending plan gains first legislative approval,” in The Times-Picayune to learn about this year’s annual plan along with a list of New Orleans area projects that will be funded.
ICYMI: CPRA Chair, Johnny Bradberry, wrote an excellent opinion piece in The Advocate this week, “Coastal protection guest column: Louisiana land loss a crisis; here's what we're doing about it.” Bradberry explains why Louisiana’s coast is important to the entire nation and why “doing nothing” isn’t an option, stating, “The time for action on these diversions has arrived. We wait longer at our own peril.”