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  • Writer's pictureStaff @ LT&C

Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Becomes Largest Coastal Restoration Project in U.S. History

On August 10, 2023 in the State of Louisiana broke ground on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, making it the largest single ecosystem restoration project in U.S. history.

The sediment diversion will mimic the natural land building process by reconnecting the Mississippi River to near-by wetlands. These wetlands not only hold half of all U.S. endangered species in desperate need of land, but also protect coastal cities from the increasingly severe storms hitting south Louisiana. The sediment diversion is expected to restore 27 square miles (17,000 acres) of wetlands, and with other restoration projects in the Barataria Basin, possibly strengthen hundreds of acres of wetlands.

Using nature as a solution has long been a goal of Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and Pontchartrain Conservancy. This alliance released the following statements following the groundbreaking:

“The historic importance of beginning construction on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion cannot be overstated. This project is a visionary effort that positions Louisiana as a global leader, using the power of nature itself to create more wetlands than any other single restoration project in the nation,” said Simone Maloz, campaign director of Restore the Mississippi River Delta. “The actions we take now – like today’s monumental groundbreaking – will shape how our coast looks for generations to come. We must ensure more projects from the Coastal Master Plan advance in a timely manner to preserve a thriving and resilient coast for the people, wildlife and economies that depend on a stronger Mississippi River Delta.”

“The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion harnesses our best defense, nature itself, to build land as it has done for millennia,” says Kristi Trail, executive director of Pontchartrain Conservancy. “Since 1989, our scientific research has shown that when we work with nature, rather than against it, we create the best protections for Louisiana with multiple lines of defense. This diversion will create jobs, contribute to our economy, and protect wildlife, people and our way of life.”


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