Saturday, June 18, 2016

Managed retreat

Not gonna restore or really even "save" what's left of the coast. We've actually been in retreat mode for quite some time.
The 50-year, $50 billion master plan envisions building back the estuaries and wetlands along Louisiana’s coast through sediment diversions and marsh creation, as well as paying for levees and other projects. That $50 billion price tag also is likely to increase with the new 2017 master plan, Bradberry said, in part reflecting changing conditions along the coast like the more dire forecasts for sea level rise.

“I’m encouraged the state is already, with the 2017 plan, having a realistic discussion of what the possibilities are,” Muth said. “We have to be prepared for some pretty disturbing news about what is possible.”

That’s not to say pursuing coastal restoration and protection work is pointless. Preserving the marshes at the coast is critical, as they provide important defenses when storms come in, absorbing surge and reducing flooding.

“We still can get the system building land while, at the same time, facing the fact that some of what we have now will disappear,” Muth said. “We have to figure out what we can do so we can be here in 50 years.”
So, ok, they're only sort of coming around to admitting how little they can actually do. From a macro perspective,  though,  it helps if you understand that policy has always been guided by the desire to preserve profit rather than habitat. Eventually it's all going underwater.  In the meantime we'll protect assets for as long as there is still money to wring from them. People are pretty much on their own. Just as they always have been.

No comments: