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Corps of Engineers says yes to coastal restoration project experts call “monumental”

Posted on December 21, 2022

The Corps of Engineers has given the green light to the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project to use Mississippi River sediment to rebuild parts of Louisiana’s coast. Bren Haase is the executive director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. He says it’s a monumental development.

“This is the first real major project that utilizes the biggest resource that the state of Louisiana has in our coast which is the Mississippi River, the River that formed all of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands in the first place,” he said.

Haas said the money to pay for the project is coming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement fund. Governor John Bel Edwards says the project represents a major step forward towards restoring damage caused by the oil spill.

Haase said the project will provide important storm surge protection for inland communities, including New Orleans.

“Those wetlands help knock down storm surges, absorb that water take some of the energy out of the storm and they also protect our protection systems,” Haase said.

Haase said construction on the project could get underway next spring. He said once its operational, it will be able to build and sustain up to 26,000 acres of wetlands.

“We see anywhere where we reintroduce the river where there are coastal wetlands you see benefits almost immediately. Salinities change, sediments are deposited, new vegetation grows,” Haas said.


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