Conservation Groups Insist Federal Agencies Act with Urgency on Key Restoration Project
New proposed timeline for Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion “completely unacceptable”
(Baton Rouge – March 15, 2017) At this morning’s Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board meeting, Col. Michael Clancy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated that the new target date for issuing a permit, in consultation with other federal agencies, on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is October 2022 – two years behind the schedule proposed by the state of Louisiana.
In response, Restore the Mississippi River Delta – Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – released the following statement:
“We are very disappointed to hear that the proposed permitting date for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is now October 2022 – a full two years behind the schedule proposed by the state. This is completely unacceptable.
“Given the severity of our state’s land loss crisis, we must advance large-scale restoration projects like Mid-Barataria as quickly as possible. Sediment diversions are a cornerstone of our state’s Coastal Master Plan and use the natural power of the Mississippi River to build and sustain wetlands to protect people, wildlife and industries.
“The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion was recently included on the federal dashboard for oversight and proposed as a high priority project by Governor Edwards under the Administration’s executive order to expedite environmental review. It is imperative that this project be implemented according to the timeline proposed by the state.
“Every day that we wait is another day we put our coastal communities at risk. We need to do everything in our power to get the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion under construction as soon as possible. We don’t have time to lose.
“We applaud the state for moving with urgency on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion and urge the federal government to do the same.”
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, email@example.com
Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation, 504.442.2702, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, email@example.com
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, firstname.lastname@example.org
Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.