Saturday, January 16, 2016

Piss every gift right on off the continental shelf

Ever get the feeling we will never solve this problem?
After the flood of 2011 pushed record amounts of silt-laden water through the Mississippi River valley, coastal activists lamented the fact that no river diversions were in place to capture some of the sediment to help rebuild Louisiana’s marshes.

Five years later, there’s another flood, and even though the state is closer to getting a large river diversion built to reroute sediment from the Mississippi River to coastal wetlands, nothing is in place yet.

“It is frustrating when you look at the satellite images of this event, and the 2011 event, and see the amount of sediment that the river carries,” said Chip Kline, acting executive assistant to the governor for coastal activities.

For example, with the recent opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to relieve pressure on river levees in New Orleans, much of the sediment is flowing into Lake Pontchartrain instead of into eroding wetlands.

In the last five years, the scientific and engineering knowledge about diversions that direct sediment from the Mississippi River into surrounding marshes has advanced greatly, but the state is still years away from construction, said John Lopez with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

“Things are coming together, but it’s unfortunate it’s not faster despite many people’s effort,” Lopez said. “Basically, our capacity to take advantage of this high water is the same as 2011. Why? The wheels of progress are slow.”
Which is to say, the wheels may as not even turn.  We will never "save" the Louisiana coast.  The political will does not exist and will never exist to do the things necessary to make that happen.  All we ever have the political will to do is accommodate the shifting needs of the oil and tourism industries and the office holders it employs as they suck what profit they can from the dying region.  Whatever happens to the people who live there is irrelevant.

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