Levees.org Continues Drive for Federal Markers at Katrina Levee Breaches

Jan 4, 2012

A state advisory panel has voted against an effort led by the grassroots group Levees.org to mark two spots where levees breached during Hurricane Katrina. However, the drive continues, despite the opposition.

Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal says the group is continuing to fight for national historical markers being placed at the 17th Street Canal and the Industrial Canal. The state's review commission voted 6 to 3 in opposition, with members saying the proposal included complex arguments of engineering failure. The group has placed state markers at 17th Street and London Avenue breach sites. The state Office of Cultural Development remains in support of the federal markers, and Rosenthal says she's optimistic they will be approved.

"We've been working very closely with the Louisiana State Preservation Office and the National Preservation Office for the past 18 months. Every word in the documentation – 39 pages – is documented and resourced. We have worked very hard that we meet all regulations. And at this point maybe an "i" needs to be dotted and a "t" crossed, but that's it. We're pretty confident we've got a good piece of work."

Letters in support of federal markers have been submitted by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, Governor Bobby Jindal, the New Orleans City Council and historian Douglas Brinkley. Federal officials have 60 days to respond.