Coalition Advocates for Wetlands Restoration Project
NEW ORLEANS — Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers released an environmental impact statement for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. This Louisiana Coastal Master Plan project hopes to reconnect the Mississippi River to adjacent wetlands to build and maintain tens of thousands of acres of land in the Barataria Basin, which is experiencing one of the highest rates of land loss on the planet. The release of the DEIS will be followed by a public comment period offering individuals and organizations an opportunity to play an active role in the restoration process.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta – a coalition of conservation policy and science experts from the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Pontchartrain Conservancy – has advocated for implementation of the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion to protect the people, wildlife and jobs of the entire region.
“Unless we act now, we risk losing it all. The future of our entire region is at stake,” said Steve Cochran, the group’s campaign director. “The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will build more wetlands than any other individual restoration project in the world, in an area experiencing some of the highest land loss rates on the planet. If our region is to have a fighting chance against land loss, hurricanes, and sea level rise, we must put the muddy Mississippi back to work to rebuild our coast.”
“Louisiana’s unparalleled coastal habitat is at risk of near complete collapse in the face of climate change-driven sea level rise,” said David Muth, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf Program. “The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, perhaps more than any other project now planned, is vital to the long-term health of our wildlife and fisheries resources. We are finally beginning to address the serious challenges we face at an appropriate scale, using the right tool — the river. If we act now, we can remain a world-renowned Sportsman’s Paradise.”
Click here to read the impact statement.