Your Voice is Needed: Why and How to Participate in the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion Scoping Process
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One of the cornerstone projects the State of Louisiana deems most central to the future of the Mississippi River Delta is, after over 35 years of planning, hitting a major milestone. The Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion project is officially in the scoping period, which means the public has an opportunity to suggest questions about the project impacts and benefits that should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and ultimately inform the way the project moves forward.
This project aims to reconnect the river to the Breton Basin marshes, serving as a long-term, sustainable strategy to reduce land loss and restore wetlands. The 2017 Coastal Master Plan predicts that the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion could build and maintain 24 sq. miles of land over the next 50 years.
The Breton Basin is losing land every day, leaving communities from Pointe a la Hache to New Orleans increasingly vulnerable to storm surge. The Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion will have major implications for Louisiana’s coast and communities; we strongly encourage you to participate in this scoping process.
What is ‘Scoping’?
To move this project forward, the Corps must follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Scoping meetings are one of the first steps in this process. Scoping meetings are public meetings where you can get a broad overview of the project’s purpose and location and provide feedback about the project and what you would like to see addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
It is essential that stakeholders participate in this process by providing input and asking the Corps to carefully consider what the future of our coast and our communities would look like without the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion.
Learn more about scoping here: ELI FACT SHEET
Delta Dispatches Podcast: Scoping Out the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion
We’re dedicating this entire episode to the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion, which is officially in the scoping period. During the scoping period, the public can provide comments and suggest questions about the project that they think should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to ultimately inform how the project moves forward.
This episode breaks down the scoping process and talks about how you can deliver your comments about the project to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Listen to the podcast on your favorite platform!
How to Participate in Mid-Breton Scoping
The public comment period for Mid-Breton scoping is from July 2, 2020 through August 16, 2020.
Some examples of questions we think it’s important that the Corps address in an Environmental Impact Statement include:
- What will the future of the Breton Sound Basin and the Mississippi River Delta look like without this diversion in place?
- Without this project, how will storm surge impact communities?
- Without this project, how will sea level rise impact communities?
- Without this project, what will happen to habitat for birds and wildlife, such as deer, wintering ducks, alligators, largemouth bass and crawfish?
- Do you plan to study and release the future impacts on the ecosystem, wildlife and communities of not constructing and operating the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion?
- What happens to existing marsh creation projects, levees and other Coastal Master Plan projects without the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion in place?
- What, if any, are the impacts of the proposed diversion on Mississippi Sound and the long-term fisheries productivity of Breton Sound and Mississippi Sound?
- What effect will this project have on storm surge vulnerability in Louisiana and Mississippi? How does storm surge vulnerability vary with and without this project?
- Are diversions the best method for building and sustaining land in the Breton Basin?
Feel free to build on these questions in your formal comments, but you should personalize whenever possible.
How to submit your official scoping comments and questions:
Submit comment forms (available at the project webpage) and/or letters by mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, Attn: CEMVN-ODR-E #MVN-2018-1120-EOO, 7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118.
- Submit comments by e-mail at CEMVN-Midbreton@usace.army.mil.
- Submit oral comments via the toll-free number 1-855-643-2738 OR 1-855-MID-BRET
If you have questions about how to engage in the scoping process or how to submit comments or questions, please contact Helen Rose Patterson, Senior Outreach Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scoping Fact Sheet by the Environmental Law Institute
- U.S. Army Corps Mid-Breton EIS webpage
- U.S. Army Corps Scoping Presentation
- CPRA Scoping Presentation
- Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion Project Page
- Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion: What It Is and Why It’s Needed