Battered by Recent Hurricanes, Southwest Louisiana Benefits from New Coastal Restoration Projects

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Battered by Recent Hurricanes, Southwest Louisiana Benefits from New Coastal Restoration Projects

07.11.2022 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

This is the third blog in a series focused on coastal restoration projects advancing across Louisiana’s coast. You can read the Southeast blog here, and the Central Coast blog here. In August of 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Cameron, Louisiana, located along the state’s southwest coast. Less than 45 days later, Hurricane Delta made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane just east of Cameron in Creole, Louisiana. These storms devastated the people and communities …

Coastal Restoration is More Important Than Ever for Communities Across Louisiana’s Central Coast

05.17.2022 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Senior Analyst, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund

This is the second blog in a series focused on coastal restoration projects advancing across Louisiana’s coast. You can read the Southeast blog here, and the Southwest Coast blog here. As communities across Louisiana continue to recover from the devastation of the last two hurricane seasons, it’s difficult to think that another hurricane season is about to begin. In 2020, five storms made landfall in Louisiana – the most ever – with Hurricanes Laura and Delta devastating the southwest portion …

This natural storm buffer helps protect Greater New Orleans. A new restoration project will prevent it from disappearing.

04.14.2022 | Posted by Samantha Carter, Outreach Manager, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, National Wildlife Federation

Recent hurricanes have demonstrated how vulnerable our region is to growing flood risk, and a recent technical report by NOAA underscores the threats posed by sea level rise. As seas rise, storms strengthen in intensity and wetlands disappear, Louisiana is in a race against time to maintain and restore coastal wetlands as critical natural buffers and lines of defense for communities and vital infrastructure. Thankfully, a major coastal restoration project to restore and preserve one vital natural line of defense …

Project to Restore Maurepas Swamp Takes One Important Step Forward

Army Corps releases plan selecting Maurepas restoration project as mitigation for nearby levee construction. Overview of Maurepas Swamp As one of the largest forested wetlands in the nation, Maurepas Swamp provides important ecological and socioeconomic benefits to southeast Louisiana. The swamp not only improves water quality and habitat for many species of conservation importance, but also increases resilience against storms for coastal communities from the Greater New Orleans region to the River Parishes and up into Greater Baton Rouge. However, …

Upriver Diversions Can Reduce Impacts of Bonnet Carré Spillway

02.07.2022 | Posted by

New research shows river diversions can restore vital wetlands and reduce impacts of Bonnet Carré Spillway openings Climate change is causing more intense rainfall across the Mississippi River Basin resulting in more river floods and more frequent use of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. The spillway is a massive flood control structure operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when the river reaches a certain flood stage to reduce pressure on the levees and prevent catastrophic flooding to more than …

114 community leaders ask the Corps to make a win-win decision for a threatened swamp

03.03.2020 | By Halle Parker

More than 100 business, parish and community leaders mobilized over the past few weeks, signing their entities onto a request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to contribute to the state’s River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project to balance what will be lost in the construction of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee.  The widely-supported Maurepas Swamp project aims to deliver sediment and fresh water from the Mississippi River to 45,000 acres existing wetlands and forests in the East …

Maurepas Swamp Diversion Selected as Priority in Gulf Restoration Plan

Project would help sustain world-renowned swamp, provide protection for Baton Rouge and other communities (NEW ORLEANS, LA – October 9, 2019) Today the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) announced restoration priorities to consider across the Gulf, which included investing in a critical diversion project in Louisiana’s Maurepas Swamp. The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project would reconnect one of the largest forested wetlands complexes in the nation with the Mississippi River to aid in preventing further wetland loss and …

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Optimizing River Diversions in Order to Maximize Sediment Retention and Land Building

05.23.2019 | By Molly Keogh, Coastal Geologist

Over the last century, human engineering of the Mississippi River has greatly reduced the amount of sediment delivered to wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta. Half of the river’s sediment is trapped behind upstream dams and, in the lower river, levees block the rest of the sediment from reaching wetlands during floods. Yet, despite the river’s reduced sediment load, the rapid growth of the Wax Lake Delta in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin shows that the remaining sediment in the Mississippi River …

Restoring a Vital Storm Buffer for Southeastern Louisiana

12.07.2018 | Posted by Amanda Moore, Director, Gulf Program, National Wildlife Federation

To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits to reduce land loss, restore ecosystems, and maintain healthy and diverse habitat. In our “Restoration Project Highlights” series, we take a deeper look at specific projects from our list of Priority Projects, highlighting why they’re needed and hearing local perspectives on importance. (This blog was updated on February 2, 2021, to reflect new project milestones.) Why do we need …

A Cornerstone for Coastal Restoration: The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

09.12.2018 | Posted by Rachel Rhode, Senior Analyst, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund

To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits to reduce land loss, restore ecosystems, and maintain healthy and diverse habitat. In our “Restoration Project Highlights” series, we take a deeper look at specific projects from our list of Priority Projects, highlighting why they’re needed and hearing local perspectives on importance. Louisiana’s Barataria Basin has experienced some of the highest rates of land loss in the country: Between …

What is Needed to Protect and Restore one of the Gulf Coast’s Largest Swamps?

06.12.2018 | By Theryn Henkel

To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits and reduce land loss, restore ecosystems and maintain habitat. In this “Restoration Project Highlights” series, we’ll be taking a deeper look at specific projects from our list of Priority Projects, highlighting why they’re needed and hearing local perspectives about their importance. A local’s perspective on the River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp diversion. ? Warren Coco, Founder of Go-Devil Manufacturers …

Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion: What It Is and Why It’s Needed

04.24.2018 | Posted by

To restore Louisiana’s coast, we need a suite of large-scale restoration projects across the coast working together to deliver maximum benefits and reduce land loss, restore ecosystems and maintain habitat. In this “Restoration Project Highlights” series, we’ll be taking a deeper look at specific projects from our list of Priority Projects, focusing on why they’re important, the local impacts and local perspectives. A local’s perspective on the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion. Albertine Kimble, Plaquemines Parish Resident What is the Mid-Breton Sediment …

A Winning Strategy for Restoring the Barataria Basin

04.23.2018 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

In March 2018, Louisiana’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) released a strategic restoration plan outlining priorities to repair damages and restore the ecosystem in Louisiana’s Barataria Basin following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan, titled, “Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana,” may sound a little dry, but it is actually a big, exciting step forward toward funding and implementing large-scale restoration …

Large-scale Projects Move Forward in 2017

12.20.2017 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

2017 has been a busy year for coastal restoration in Louisiana. Louisiana’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan passed unanimously and progress was made on several large-scale restoration projects. This is the time of year where we often reflect on what we want to accomplish in the next year; but, first, let’s take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come. Here are just a few of the projects that made progress in 2017. Some of these projects may be bigger and …

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 …