Coastal restoration

The Times Picayune has a series up on combating coastal erosion in Louisiana, an environmental issue about which there is a true consensus.

Success will require huge, strategically placed diversions, which essentially redirect water from the Mississippi and other rivers into the dying wetlands. The slow-acting diversions will have to be paired with much more rapid efforts to rebuild barrier islands and interior wetlands, using dredged sediment that in some cases will be transported by pipeline miles from the Mississippi.

This comprehensive effort must be quickly launched through what would be an unprecedented display of federal will, efficiency and cooperation with the state and a host of competing private interest groups. Also needed will be truckloads of money: State and federal officials estimated the cost of rebuilding the coast at about $15 billion in 2004 – a year before Hurricane Katrina, in one day, stripped Louisiana of 217 square miles of marsh.

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