Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Louisiana begins wetlands repair with Mississippi River sediment

Environment News Service: The first project in [Louisiana] history designed to mine sediments from the Mississippi River and transport them by pipeline to rebuild eroding coastal wetlands was announced today by Governor Bobby Jindal. The $28.3 million project, known as The Mississippi River Sediment Delivery System at Bayou Dupont, will build and restore nearly 500 acres of marsh in Lower Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes using sediment from the Mississippi River.

Governor Jindal said, "The Bayou Dupont Project breaks new ground for coastal restoration in our state because it is the first time we have carried out a project to transport sediments from the Mississippi River through a pipeline to build wetlands outside the river's levees."

"This project is a great example of the ways the state and Environmental Protection Agency are pushing to use available sediments in the Mississippi River to build land rather than dredging them and dumping them in a wasteful way," Jindal said. "The path forward in rebuilding our coast is capturing and using sediment transported in our waterways to rebuild and strengthen our coasts."

The wetlands being restored have been destroyed by hurricanes and saltwater intrusion. Louisiana has about 40 percent of the nation's wetlands and experiences 90 percent of the coastal wetlands loss in the entire lower 48 states. The state is losing 25 to 35 square miles of wetlands each year, nearly a football field every 30 minutes. The highest rates of loss are occurring in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins at a rate of 10 and 11 square miles per year. The Barataria basin is located immediately south of New Orleans, with the Terrebonne basin located further south and west…..

Kenta Canal at Barataria Preserve, Louisian. Photo by Jan Kronsell, 2004, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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