Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Greenlighted with Final Permits 

12.19.2022 | In Press Releases

Record of Decision advances largest ecosystem restoration project in U.S. history 

NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 16, 2022) – Today, Louisiana’s Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion reached a momentous milestone as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a Record of Decision and permits authorizing the project’s advancement. The decision – decades in the making and backed by the best available, world-class science and modeling – signifies a crucial step in turning the tide on the state’s land loss crisis.  

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 mimicking natural processes and reconnecting the Mississippi River to its wetlands, 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 climate and coast.  

Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of national and local conservation organizations comprised of Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Pontchartrain Conservancy, is eager to pore over the details and review the Record of Decision. Restoration science and policy experts from the coalition issued the following statements on today’s announcement: 

“Today marks a pivotal step forward in securing Louisiana’s future. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will offset decades of land loss and protect our communities by strengthening our connection to the vital resource which built our coast, the Mississippi River. We know this decision does not come lightly—some of the best and brightest minds have contributed to its progress for decades, analyzing it from every angle. We are grateful to those who worked so diligently for so long to reach this landmark decision,” said Simone Maloz, Campaign Director for Restore the Mississippi River Delta.   

“Finally, we are about to use the most important coastal restoration tool available to us: the mighty Mississippi,” said Kimberly Davis Reyher, executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. “CRCL has been pushing for this moment for nearly 35 years, and we are grateful to see progress on the horizon.” 

“This is a huge win for Louisiana’s coast,” said Cathleen Berthelot, director of federal affairs, coastal and flood resilience for Environmental Defense Fund. “The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will be crucial to the vitality of the ecosystem and pushes us one step closer to a more resilient coast.” 

“Natural land building works, as decades of our scientific research shows,” said Kristi Trail, executive director of Pontchartrain Conservancy. “The more wetlands we restore, the more protection we have from hurricanes. Moving forward now is our best shot to fight land loss to ensure Louisiana’s future.” 

“This is the culmination of years of work and is a momentous step for Louisiana’s coast,” said Brian Moore, vice president of coastal policy for National Audubon Society. “The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will use our greatest tool – the Mississippi River – to protect our coast and ensure its bounty is sustained into the future.” 

“The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will build and strengthen essential wetlands that can protect our coastal communities and critical wildlife habitat from stronger storms and sea level rise,” said Amanda Moore, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf program. “Louisiana’s coast continues to change in front of our very eyes. Diversions are an essential part of the solution to our coastal crisis, pairing innovation with the power of the river itself to build a more sustainable future for our coast’s people and wildlife.”  

To learn more about the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion visit, https://mississippiriverdelta.org 

Media Contact:  

Annie Matherne, Gambel Communications, 504.650.5539, annie@gambelpr.com 

About Restore the Mississippi River Delta  
Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to secure a just, climate-resilient coast where people and nature thrive. As our region faces the crisis of land loss and climate change, we seek to advance an equitable, safer and flourishing coast for Louisiana’s communities, ecosystems and economy. 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.