Army Corps of Engineers

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.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Ten years after Katrina, the Army Corps of Engineers says it is ready for the next big one. The Corps has built new levees, floodwalls and gated structures over the past decade to protect the city and its people.

Paul Floro / Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting to discuss a new project that will add fabric matting and natural grasses to the top of the levees along the lakefront. The design aims to protect from surges caused by a 100-year storm.

The Corps refers to this project as "armoring" the levees. The existing system is defined to withstand a hurricane with a 1 percent chance of occurring any given year: a "100-year storm." This armoring strategy is being put in place in case there’s an even stronger storm that breaches those levees.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is allocating $2.4 million on top of congressional spending this year for dredging the Red River. The J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Navigation Project received the additional funds for operation and maintenance. The head of the Red River Waterway Commission, Ken Guidry, says the funding is critical to keep industries based at the Port of Caddo-Bossier and the Alexandria Port.

The Pentagon says three Louisiana companies have contracts worth up to $200 million in total to armor levees in the New Orleans area.

The Pentagon says Bis Services of Kenner, Circle of Belle Chasse, and Shavers-Whittle Construction of Mandeville, were among 10 companies that bid over the Internet.

Their contracts are with the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans. They were on a list of contracts released last night by the Pentagon.

The work is to be done by December 2020. The amount paid for each job will be decided individually.

Louisiana coastal restoration officials are suing a federal agency over the cost of fixing damage blamed on a now-closed south Louisiana waterway.

The federal court lawsuit was filed Tuesday in New Orleans by the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority. It notes that the man-made Mississippi River Gulf Outlet is widely blamed for contributing to flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It says federal law ordering the closure of the channel also requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore wetlands damaged by years of poor maintenance of the waterway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided against holding a public hearing on a coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish.

Officials say there’s no new information that would affect its regulatory authority over the project.

RAM Terminal wants a permit to operate on 600 acres near Ironton.

Environmental groups say the terminal would spoil coastal restoration projects.

Grace Morris is senior organizer with Gulf Restoration Network. She says more environmental reviews are needed.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers is getting closer to completing new storm protection at the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue canals.

The $615 million system is scheduled to be done in less than three years. Its permanent structures will reduce risk of 100-year level storm surges in New Orleans.

Lieutenant Colonel Austin Appleton is the Army Corps Deputy Commander for the New Orleans District. “What this is doing is pushing the defense of the storm surge to the edge of the city," he says. "Prior, the defense was the interior walls of the canal.”

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The US Army Corps of Engineers says there is no major threat from debris found inside the 17th Street Canal levee.

Corps critics aren’t so sure.

Chunks of concrete, bricks and glass were discovered during work to install sheet piling.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection District—East has been assured by the Corps that the material is being removed.

Sandy Rosenthal founded after the catastrophic levee breaches following Hurricane Katrina nine years ago.

Shannon Donner / US Army Corps of Engineers

Residents along the Lakefront are being advised to brace themselves for some major construction work. The Army Corps of Engineers is starting work on three permanent canal closures and pumps at 17th Street and Orleans and London Avenues.