Coalition Strongly Supports Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

02.29.2024 | In Press Releases

Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of national and local conservation organizations comprised of National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Pontchartrain Conservancy, strongly supports the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion.

The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will build and fortify tens of thousands of acres in the Barataria Basin, which is experiencing one of the highest rates of land loss on the planet. By reconnecting the Mississippi River to its wetlands and mimicking natural processes, the land that is built and maintained by the diversion will help protect vulnerable communities from hurricanes and sea level rise, while also ensuring the long-term health of the ecosystem and wildlife in the face of a changing coast.

The decision to permit and fund the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion was made after years of careful consideration and planning was performed. Reconnecting to the river was thoroughly investigated by the best and brightest coastal experts for decades, including state-of-the art modeling. The decision to break ground on this project was backed by the best available, world-class science, and its implementation represents a crucial step in turning the tide on the state’s land loss crisis. Measures to mitigate any potential negative effects of this project were thoroughly vetted – including through in-depth consultations with impacted communities, resulting in the commitment of over $350 million to local communities and stakeholders — funds that would not be available without this project.

“The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will offset decades of land loss and protect our communities by strengthening our connection to the vital resource that built our coast: the Mississippi River. In a place losing land faster than almost anywhere else on the planet, we have no time to lose. Attempts to delay this project are misguided, hinder our ongoing progress and conflict with the overwhelming consensus of both Louisianians and most coastal experts: There is simply no alternative that provides our communities a greater chance of survival in Louisiana’s changing future,” said Simone Maloz, Campaign Director for Restore the Mississippi River Delta.