"Restoring Louisiana Coast a National Priority, Report Says"

"Louisiana and the nation can't wait 50 years to restore economically and environmentally important coastal wetlands, a task that is likely to cost $50 billion or more, says a new report released Monday by a team of state and national environmental and social scientists and engineers. And the rest of the nation should shoulder part of the cost, the report says."

"The report attempts to answer the most troubling questions about coastal restoration, said John Day, chairman of the Mississippi River Delta Science and Engineering special team and a professor emeritus of coastal sciences at LSU.

'Our discussions led us to answer a number of questions that people brought up to suggest that coastal restoration might not be feasible,' Day said. 'Isn't it too expensive? Is there enough sediment in the river? What about navigation and control? Won't it affect people living on the coast?'

The report was prepared to help direct the coastal policy of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, a consortium of national and local environmental groups. It concludes that the negative effects of building major freshwater and sediment diversions to rebuild wetlands are easily outweighed by the economic and environmental costs of not building them."

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune April 10, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"Nearly Two Years Later, Oil Remains" (Thibodaux Daily Comet)

"Mississippi Delta Is at Risk, But Restoration Will Create Jobs and Stimulate the Economy -- Report"

"Public Meetings Begin Tonight on New Study of Use of Mississippi River Water and Sediment To Rebuild Wetlands" (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

"Report Says Nation Should Pay To Fix Coastal Louisiana" (Houma Today)

"Corps Gets Public's Thoughts on Using Mississippi's Water, Mud for Rebuilding Wetlands" (AP)

"Experts Weigh Spill's Lasting Effects" (Wall St. Journal)

Opinion: "Another Weapon in Our Arsenal" (Houma Today)

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 04/13/2012