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…
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.