flood protection

US Army Corps of Engineers / Wikimedia

The 2014 hurricane season has started, and New Orleans metro area residents are living behind a new, $14.5 billion storm surge system acknowledged as the best they have ever had. 

But an investigation by The Lens shows this best-ever is still not as good as Congress originally ordered it to be.

Advocates of a south Louisiana flood control board's lawsuit against scores of oil and gas companies over erosion of coastal wetlands are making plans to fight legislation they say could undermine the suit.

Among other things, the bill filed for this year's legislative session would ensure Gov. Bobby Jindal's power to reject an independent committee's nominations for membership on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. Jindal opposes the lawsuit filed by the SLFPA-E last year.

NASA

Attorneys for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East had a chance to defend their lawsuit against oil and gas companies, at a meeting of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

The head of the state coastal authority, Garret Graves, has been one of the harshest critics of the lawsuit since it was filed last July. Governor Bobby Jindal has also been critical of the suit.

Bob Marshall / The Lens

The idea that grass can armor anything is hard to believe.

But on a recent visit to the Lake Pontchartrain levee, LSU agronomist Jeff Beasley explained how plain old, garden variety grass has earned a reputation with the US Army Corps of Engineers as one of the best armoring materials to keep the huge mud walls of a levee from collapsing during a storm.

"You know how we reinforce concrete with rebar?" says Beasley. "We can do the same with these levees."

Gov. Bobby Jindal has named three new members to a Louisiana flood control board that filed a lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands.

Jindal had made clear that anyone who supported the suit would not be re-appointed to the nine-member Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.

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.

Residents and parish officials are lobbying the Army Corps of Engineers to include Ascension and St. James parishes in a massive hurricane protection project.

The Advocate reports the Army Corps met this past week with local interests as part of a public-comment process associated with the hurricane and storm damage risk reduction study.

A draft report on the project was released in August.

US Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers will close the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway barge gate at the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal-Lake Borgne Surge Barrier, the agency announced today in a press release.

The barrier is scheduled to be closed at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, according to Corps of Engineers spokesman Ken Holder.

The New Orleans-based flood control board that sued dozens of oil and gas companies over the erosion of coastal wetlands is trying to get that lawsuit put back in state court.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East's board of commissioners filed the suit in state civil district court in New Orleans on July 24. Last month, it was transferred to federal court at the request of Chevron U.S.A., one of the defendants. The company argued that federal laws govern many of the suit's claims.

Business and political leaders joined with Dutch water experts in recommending a plan that revamps the way the New Orleans region deals with storm water. It requires a major shift in how residents see water inside the levee system.

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