Louisiana’s Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Will Build Thousands of Critical Coastal Wetlands, Protect Communities
NEW ORLEANS — Today, Louisiana’s Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion reached a momentous milestone as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a Record of Decision and permits authorizing the project’s advancement. The decision – decades in the making and backed by the best available, world-class science and modeling – clears a major hurdle for the project before it can move to construction.
The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will build and fortify tens of thousands of acres in the Barataria Basin, which is experiencing one of the highest rates of land loss on the planet. By mimicking natural processes and reconnecting the Mississippi River to its wetlands, the diversion will help protect vulnerable communities from hurricanes and sea level rise, while also ensuring the long-term health of the ecosystem and wildlife in the face of a changing climate and coast.
“The science is clear – the only places in Louisiana consistently building new land are areas where rivers are connected to wetlands,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We need to reestablish natural processes, using the power of the Mississippi River itself as a land-building and habitat-sustaining machine. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is an innovative solution that will not only build and enhance tens of thousands of acres of essential wildlife habitat in Louisiana’s ‘Sportsmen’s Paradise,’ but will also protect vulnerable coastal communities from worsening flood risk due to increasing sea level rise and stronger storms.”
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