In a new story out in The Lens today, environmental reporter Bob Marshall delves into an ongoing study about Mississippi River sediment, and its ability to rebuild the coast. Government agencies and scientists have some new ideas about how much mud and sand the Mississippi River deposits along the Louisiana coast before it flows out to the Intercontinental Shelf.
Marshall tops his story by laying out some assumptions:
The centerpiece of Louisiana's Master Plan to stem coastal erosion is this: divert the Mississippi River to let it flow over the marsh. Sediment in the river is supposed to stick and build up the wetlands, keeping more Louisiana land above water as sea levels rise.
The Tangipahoa Parish Council voted unanimously to award a $4.8 million contract to Bertucci Contracting Co. of Metairie to construct a stone breakwater designed to halt coastal erosion in the extreme northwestern corner of Lake Pontchartrain.
Parish engineer Maurice Jordan told The Advocate on Monday a 10,000-linear-foot wall can be constructed from an area just west of the mouth of the Tangipahoa River toward Pass Manchac, which empties into Lake Pontchartrain.
Nicholls State University in Thibodaux is taking a new perspective on tracking coastal erosion and the health of Louisiana's barrier islands more closely.
The islands are an important habitant for migratory birds and a front-line protection against hurricanes, but the islands have undergone heavy erosion as the state's coast has faded into the Gulf of Mexico.
It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The oil has long stopped flowing and BP spent billions of dollars to clean up oiled beaches and waterways, but the disaster isn't necessarily over.
Oil fouled some 1,100 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline, but today, in most spots, you can't see obvious signs of the spill. In Orange Beach, Ala., the clear emerald waters of the Gulf roll onto sugar-white sand beaches.