Let Your Voice Be Heard: Public Comment Period for MRGO Draft Restoration Plan Is Underway

By Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation

Update to our previous post: The 60-day public comment period is open for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) Draft Restoration Plan.  The restoration of the ecosystem along the MRGO will help to protect the City of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish by providing a coastal buffer to storm surge and waves.  In addition, restoration will increase coastal resiliency to subsidence and sea level rise and keep our estuaries healthy and productive.

The public voice is critical for both a strong plan and implementation funding.  The Corps and Congress need to hear from you to ensure a healthy and resilient coastal buffer between the New Orleans area and the Gulf of Mexico.  Through careful review, experts and community leaders in the MRGO Must Go Coalition, a group of 17 environmental and community organizations, have developed recommendations for the Draft Feasibility Report.  Please send in a comment and help protect New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish by visiting their website.

Groundbreaking ceremony of the MRGO

Since its construction, the MRGO has impacted over 600,000 acres of coastal ecosystems surrounding New Orleans and has destroyed over 27,000 acres of wetlands.  In 2005, Hurricane Katrina underscored the gravity of the MRGO impact on wetlands and public safety when storm waves generated in Lake Borgne regenerated in the MRGO channel and destroyed levees while the surge still was rising, wiping out communities along the MRGO.  Now, under direction from Congress, the Army Corps has developed a comprehensive plan to repair coastal damage caused by the channel.

The public comment period is scheduled to end mid-February.