Notes from New Orleans: Sandbags & Missed Opportunity

Posted on: April 25th, 2008 by Walter Gallas

sandbagsAs the waters of the Mississippi rose to their expected crest in New Orleans, I passed some workers of the New Orleans Levee Board this weekend putting sandbags along a stretch of the French Quarter riverfront where that water was lapping away at exposed earth. About 30 miles upriver, millions of gallons of river water are being diverted to Lake Pontchartrain through the Bonne Carre Spillway in an effort to keep the volume of water passing New Orleans at a desired 1.25 million cubic feet per second.

sandbagsIt was noted in the press how a golden opportunity is being missed to use all the diverted sediment now coursing through the Bonne Carre spillway into Lake Pontchartrain and passing the city to be dumped in the Gulf of Mexico. Years of talk about water diversion plans to re-build the wetlands have resulted in very little implementation due to lags in funding.

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