Coastal groups call progress on Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion vital to Louisiana’s future
Project will create a sustainable coast for future generations and buffer from storms and sea level rise
(NEW ORLEANS – August 3, 2020) Earlier today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updated the status and shared the implementation timeline of the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. The update indicates that the expected release of the draft environmental impact statement for this project will be November 2022, and a record of decision is expected by February 2024.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta – a coalition of national and local conservation organizations working to restore Louisiana’s coast including Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Pontchartrain Conservancy – issued the following statement in response:
“Louisiana is losing land, and we’re losing time. We need to act with urgency to build and maintain vital wetlands in order to protect communities from the worst impacts of flooding from storms and sea level rise. We also need to protect wildlife from ongoing land loss and restore forests decimated by saltwater intrusion.
“The Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion is vital to maintaining a sustainable coast for the people and wildlife of our entire region. The timeline made public today shows that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority are committed to working together to address our land loss crisis with urgency.
“It is critical that the agencies collaborate to meet the milestones they have committed to, while ensuring the environmental review process is thorough, transparent and accessible for all stakeholders. The Corps has already made progress on that front by holding virtual scoping meetings to provide information and opportunities for engagement, while still maintaining public health and safety in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion, which will be located on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, is currently in the engineering and design phase of implementation. The project will convey fresh water and sediment into nearby deteriorating marshes to build and maintain 24 square miles (15,800 acres) of land over the next 50 years. The sediment diversion will help restore the health of the Breton Basin to provide greater diversity of habitat for wildlife such as deer, wintering ducks, alligators, largemouth bass and crawfish. It will also build and maintain wetlands to help buffer communities from hurricane storm surge flooding and sea level rise.
Jacques Hebert, Environmental Defense Fund, 504.250.3699, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Bourg, National Audubon Society, 225.776.9838, email@example.com
Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation, 504.442.2702, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Karst, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 504.220.7899, email@example.com
John Lopez, Pontchartrain Conservancy, 504.421.7348, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Restore the Mississippi River Delta:
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 Pontchartrain Conservancy, 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.