But now, 11 months after the Army Corps of Engineers completed one of the largest public works projects in world history, the agency says the system will stop providing adequate protection in as little as four years because of rising sea levels and shrinking levees.It's only necessary if you want people to be able to actually live here. Since so much of what gets invested in South Louisiana builds either oil and gas infrastructure or amusing things for tourists to spend money on, it's not clear that's really the priority.
The growing vulnerability of the New Orleans area is forcing the Army Corps to begin assessing repair work, including raising hundreds of miles of levees and floodwalls that form a meandering earth and concrete fortress around the city and its adjacent suburbs.
“These systems that maybe were protecting us before are no longer going to be able to protect us without adjustments,” said Emily Vuxton, policy director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, an environmental group. She said repair costs could be “hundreds of millions” of dollars, with 75% paid by federal taxpayers.
“I think this work is necessary. We have to protect the population of New Orleans,” Vuxton said.
But if protecting residents isn't the main priority, it might still be something we're a little bit interested in as long as we can maintain it anyway. In that case, it's about time to start working on that federal funding again. Sounds like a great job for our conservative "small government" congressional delegation to talk to Donald Trump about. Or maybe if that doesn't go so well, we could always wait for the Democrats to come around on that "green dream or whatever."
Who knows how that might turn out? If you think you know how it ends, please don't spoil anything.