The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a new way to measure the value of wetlands and restore those destroyed by industry.
The proposed Louisiana Wetlands Rapid Assessment Method, or LRAM, is a compensatory wetland mitigation method that will help them evaluate different types of wetlands, like bottomland hardwoods or cypress swamp, and determine how to offset destruction caused by development.
If a company wants to build in the wetlands it has to replace what is destroyed.
Corps spokesman Ricky Boyett says swamps provide habitat, protection from storms and improve water quality. “So protecting them is critical to the future of Louisiana and the industry,” says Boyett. “This method is developing an approach that can protect these wetlands while understanding that you have to have a balance between people and the environment.”
The new method will replace the Corps’ previous assessment model, the Modified Charleston Method, which has been controversial.
The Corps is holding four local workshops over the next month to solicit input on the new method. Meetings will take place in Lake Charles, Houma, St. Martinville and Mandeville.