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But as the environmental costs have become clearer

A Missed Opportunity To Rebuild Louisiana

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. For decades, a mixture of industrial development and erosion has canada goose uk shop carved away cheap Canada Goose at southern Louisiana, eliminating nearly 2,000 square miles of land and making the area increasingly vulnerable to storms that sweep in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Canada Goose sale Every day the Mississippi River delivers the raw materials required to replenish this lost territory: mud and sand that drop at the mouth of the waterway and would amass there, were nature allowed to run its course. Canada Goose sale

Canada Goose Parka But nature has proven no match for the century long federal governance of the Mississippi as a vital marine highway: Five enormous ships operated by the federal government dredge the sediment Canada Goose Coats On Sale collecting at the mouth of the river daily, then carry much of it into open waters offshore and dump it there, sending it canada goose black friday sale into oblivion. Canada Goose Parka

This year’s historic flooding along the Mississippi River resonated as a threat buy canada goose jacket to low lying communities, sending families scrambling to preserve homes and property. But it was also a missed opportunity on an epic scale, say conservationists: The heavy rains that swelled the Mississippi loaded it with a massive supply of natural building materials that could have buttressed the Gulf Coast land. Instead, levees built to tame the river directed this sediment down to the mouth, Canada Goose Parka where the federal ships are hauling it away.

Mouse over to see before and after photos of the disappearance of canada goose store Louisiana’s coast

“It’s basically crazy to let that sediment flow out into the open Gulf of Mexico, when you could be using it to build more Louisiana,” says Chris Paola, a geology professor at the University of Minnesota who is part of a team of researchers studying the Mississippi canada goose River and the collapse of its delta. “Why would you throw away real estate? If that real estate were under a shopping mall in New Jersey, nobody would tolerate just seeing it wasted. But that’s what we’re doing here.”

canada goose store These clashing notions canada goose uk outlet about the appropriate response to the flood rest on the surface of a long entrenched battle over the core identity of the Mississippi, as communities and industries with divergent interests make competing claims on the river’s natural bounty. canada goose store

buy canada goose jacket Since the late 1800s, the government has managed the Mississippi as a superhighway for marine commerce, building levees that have maintained the channel to transport goods worldwide while providing flood protection for those living along its banks. But this intervention has exacted a steep cost: The levees have prevented the river’s mud from spilling over the banks and building up land in southern Louisiana, as it did for eons before. buy canada goose jacket

As a result, the Gulf of Mexico has been able to slowly conquer the once vibrant wetlands and marshes of southern Louisiana, creeping steadily northward and eroding away at the natural land barriers that have protected populated cities such as New canadian goose jacket Orleans from hurricanes.

Oil companies and the government have also cut up the coastline with additional canals and navigation channels, which have acted as a conduit for marsh killing salt water.

buy canada goose jacket cheap “The flooding of Hurricane Katrina was in no small measure a consequence of allowing that wetland system to deteriorate,” said Paul Kemp, a former coastal sciences professor at Louisiana State University who is now a vice president at the National Audubon Society. “This system is not about to collapse; it’s collapsing.” buy canada goose jacket cheap

Experts dismiss the idea that the management of the Mississippi is a zero sum game; a choice between protecting shipping canada goose coats and rebuilding coastal lands. With proper planning, both goals can be pursued at once, they say. Army Corps of Engineers is required to choose the cheapest way Canada Goose online to dispose of the mud that now collects at the mouth of the river, which has meant dumping it offshore.

canada goose coats In so doing, the federal government is squandering the free materials offered by nature to protect coastal Louisiana and New Orleans from a steady canada goose clearance descent into the sea. canada goose coats

Canada Goose Outlet Carried from as far away as Montana, Minnesota and New York, sediment flowing down the Mississippi River has supplemented the land of what is now the southern United States for more than a million years. Canada Goose Outlet

Major floods have acted as crucial infusions of fresh material, sending mud and fresh water cascading over the river’s banks. But the re engineering of the river over the last century has largely put a stop to that function.

canada goose coats on sale The past decisions made canada goose coats on sale perfect economic sense at the time: Ships needed easy passage to the nation’s interior; farmers wanted certainty that their crops would survive. But as the environmental costs have become clearer, conservation groups, scientists and government officials in Louisiana have pointed out the pitfalls of a management scheme that was conceived in a much different time. canada goose coats on sale

The loss of the estuary environment, where fresh and salt water intermingle, threatens the long term survival of one of the world’s most productive fisheries. Entire cities, major oil refineries and some of the busiest American ports now lack historical natural barriers from hurricanes.

cheap Canada Goose Satellite images show a division of two worlds: the untapped natural resource of the river and its mud pulsing directly through the disappearing region of wetlands and pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. cheap Canada Goose

canadian goose jacket For years, state and local leaders and national environmental groups have pushed for a different approach to managing the river’s valuable sediment embracing the power of natural forces instead of fighting them. The goal is to mimic past major flooding events by allowing sediment and fresh water to be strategically redirected into the adjacent marshes farther upstream through engineered breaks in the levees, or through pipelines that would funnel mud from the river into wetlands. canadian goose jacket

Dozens of Mississippi River delta restoration projects have been drawn up over the years by various federal agencies, but so far they are mostly theoretical canada goose uk black friday designs sitting on shelves as the state has struggled to secure federal funding.

The costs have been a major sticking point. The price tag for one of the largest proposed sediment diversion projects, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, is upwards of half a billion dollars. And design problems with past projects have illustrated the engineering challenges entailed in meddling with nature.

But the costs of doing nothing different and continually plow piles of mud at the mouth of the river are expected to escalate as well. During the past five years, the Army Corps of Engineers has spent more than $100 million each year to keep the lower river open by dredging. The belief is that by eventually redirecting sediment from the river to adjacent marsh environments, the government could avoid uk canada goose some the mounting expenses of clearing the mouth of the river while also preserving crucial land barriers.

canada goose black friday sale Conservationists assert that the status quo only seems like the lowest priced option because of the nature of the accounting: The federal government is not counting the costs absorbed by coastal communities who must live with greater vulnerability to hurricanes. The calculation does not reflect the impact to valuable fisheries and the people who rely on them for their uk canada goose outlet livelihoods. canada goose black friday sale

canada goose deals “This is a very rich place that we’ve been harvesting and harvesting for decades,” said Foster Creppel, who runs the Woodland Plantation, a historic inn and eco tourism destination in Plaquemines. “People think it’ll never go away, that it’ll keep giving. But it won’t. We’re going to take from it until we kill it.” canada goose deals

Canada Goose Jackets The southern stretches of the Mississippi River in Louisiana are cheap canada goose uk a remote and wild region of marshlands, reference canada goose outlet https://www.canadagooseoutlet4online.com bays and lakes that stretch more than 100 miles south of canada goose factory sale New Orleans before giving way to the Gulf of Mexico. Canada Goose Jackets

It’s a vast landscape that totals a third of all coastal wetlands in the United States. It’s home to a quarter of the seafood catch in the lower 48 states and is the winter habitat for 70 percent of migratory birds that fly across the central United States.

canada goose clearance It is also a major industrial hub: 20 percent of the nation’s waterborne commerce is handled at Louisiana ports along the Mississippi River; the state has 20 percent of the nation’s petroleum refining capacity; and including offshore wells, it is the number one producer of oil in the country. canada goose clearance

canada goose The problem is that these two basic functions commercial center and ecological wonderland have been in direct Canada Goose Outlet conflict for decades when it came to the question of dealing with the river. In large part, the national commercial interests of navigation and oil have trumped concerns about effects on the surrounding environment, leaving a system that funneled sediment all the way to the Gulf. canada goose

The abundant mix of natural resources along the lower Mississippi River and the human desire to extract them prompted a massive human intervention aimed at harnessing the river’s power.

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