State, Federal Partnership Critical To Advancing Large-Scale Louisiana Coastal Restoration Project
Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Vital to Future of Nationally-Significant Region
(WASHINGTON – Jan. 26, 2018) Earlier today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and other state and federal agencies to collaborate on permitting for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion under the guidance of Trump Executive Order 13807. Located in Plaquemines Parish, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is a Louisiana Coastal Master Plan project that would direct sediment, freshwater and nutrients from the Mississippi River into nearby wetlands to build and maintain land in Louisiana’s Barataria Basin.
In response, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of national and local conservation organizations working to address Louisiana’s land loss crisis issued the following statement:
“Louisiana needs an all-hands-on-deck approach if it is to turn the tide on its land loss crisis. Today’s announcement is a sign that the state of Louisiana and all parties involved understand the urgency of our situation and the need to act quickly to protect and restore this nationally-significant landscape.
“We are pleased to see this firm commitment to adhering to the two-year timeline for project permitting in an environmentally and legally responsible manner. The project’s placement on the Federal Permitting Dashboard is equally important to ensuring accountability and transparency.
“The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is vital to avoid a future where 500 square miles of land in Barataria Basin alone would disappear. Louisiana must be able to harness the land-building power and sands and muds of the Mississippi River to push back against sea level rise, hurricanes and subsidence. There have been decades of prior research, planning and permitting at the state and federal levels that have built the groundwork for sediment diversions. It’s time to get the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion constructed, so it can begin rebuilding our coastal defenses sooner rather than later.
“The state of Louisiana and federal agencies have an opportunity to demonstrate how parties at all levels of government can work together with urgency to meet environmental challenges head on.”
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, email@example.com
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, 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 an ongoing and severe land loss crisis, 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 mississippiriverdelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.