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In Case You Missed It, Here’s How We Might Rebuild Our Coast


This piece by John Snell from Fox 8 in New Orleans aired a couple of weeks ago, but we thought it was worth bringing to your attention anyway…

FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Running a pipe from a dredge in the Mississippi River to the marshes and barrier islands along the coast isn’t a cheap proposition, that much is for sure. But as Snell’s piece shows, it is one way to reverse coastal erosion and it does seem to work.

That shouldn’t be a surprise. Because coastal erosion isn’t inevitable. It’s not the result of some colossal sea level rise from global warming, as moonbats like the Times-Picayune’s Bob Marshall would have you believe. No, we’re losing our coast because we’ve cut a bunch of canals through our marshes to facilitate the oil and gas industry, and also because we’ve leveed the Mississippi all the way to its mouth.

Before we did that, the river would overflow every spring and leave sediment all over the areas it flooded. That helped build the river’s delta. Build levees and keep the river dredged for navigation, and that sediment instead gets shot out over the Outer Continental Shelf where it does us no good at all.

Proof of this can be found in the fact that the delta at the mouth of the Atchafalaya isn’t eroding at all. It’s growing.

The pipe with the muddy river water merely replaces the process of the river dumping sediment out into the bayou. It restores a balance nature intended in which the river makes land with floods and the ocean takes it away with hurricanes.

Should we widen this program and run pipes into the marsh up and down the lower part of the Mississippi? That’s going to depend on the resources available. Can any of this new land be considered real estate? Would anybody buy it? Can proceeds from such sales finance a continuation or expansion of the program? And would private ownership of the new land engender private efforts to keep it above the waves? We don’t have those answers.

But Snell’s piece indicates that should we embark on such an endeavor, at least we can expect some results from it. Whether those results are cost-effective is tough to ascertain.


6 Comments

  1. Kermit Hoffpauir says:

    Damned the Feds for blocking of the sand berms that Jindal wanted during Macondo. They could have been paid for in large by BP and cost the Feds less money for the already approved rebuilding of barrier islands.

  2. William M Edelmann says:

    This is clearly an environmental win and government {State of La. or US Army Corp} are vindicated to protect the coastal marsh, same as they.
    protect beach communities along the Atlantic, Florida & Pacific coastlines.

    To ensure long-term funding & viability to rebuild or maintain entirety of U.S. coastal marsh, 'sandbars' & fisheries, place a minor tax assessment {dedicated purpose only} charged on each barrel of crude {or cubic foot of gas} taken from coastal all drilling ops, say 0.75% of average market price per barrel taken from coastal lands or 1.25% from each BBL {CF} taken from Gulf leases to 200 miles south of Louisiana's Coastline.

    Essentially this associates beneficiaries to pay for the cost of services.

    • Mary Pontiff says:

      Is it impossible to undo whatever was done to the river that prevents more delta land from forming? Anyone know?

    • William M Edelmann says:

      No, the only option is to open or remove Morganza Flood Control Structure {which may occur on its own someday} but then all those homes, cities, towns & camps downstream from east to west in the Basin would be flooded each time the spring thaws come over the floodgates. That is my understanding from the 30-50 years of debate on the situation.

    • Kermit Hoffpauir says:

      Actually, there has been a lot of delta built at the mouth of Morganza over the last decade or so. There was severe scouring at the base of the Morganza Flood Control Structure back during the major high water in 1973 when 42 bays had to be opened. During 2011 only 17 were opened.

      If I am not mistaken those are the only two years that the spillway had to be opened since being built.

    • William M Edelmann says:

      Possibly two or three times, but the Army Corps has known and discussed for decades that the Mississippi River will reclaim its rightful & original course, undercutting {scrubbing} the River bottom, upstream & under the Morganza Structure, ultimately reclaiming the Atchafalaya as a true flood plain, just a matter of when.

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