Posted on August 14, 2023
Federal, state and local officials break ground today in Belle Chasse on the long awaited Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. Executive assistant to the governor for coastal activities, Bren Haase, says this project uses the power of the Mississippi River to build and sustain thousands of acres of wetlands in the Barataria Basin.
“Reconnect the river with its coastal wetlands, to begin sustaining many of the projects we’ve already built through dredging, but also building close to 30,000 new acres of coastal wetlands,” said Haase.
The project costs 2.9 billion dollars. Settlement dollars from the BP Oil Spill is a major funding source.
Haase says this is the cornerstone project of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. He says a gated control structure will be built into the levees near Myrtle Grove and that will allow sediment to flow into the wetlands, which will help build land in an area that ‘s experiencing some of the highest rates of land loss in the world.
“We are able to let some of that water out, and of course along with that water you get nutrients and sediment that can help build up our coastal wetlands and sustain and nourish those that are already there as well,” said Haase.
But the plan as its critics. Some local leaders question if it will really lead to coastal restoration. Oystermen and others in fishing industry are also concerned.
Haase says they are working with those groups.
“Trying to assist those communities and those folks and some of those solutions are being implemented as we speak,” said Haase.