louisiana coastal master plan

WWNO / Travis Lux

Thousands of miles of canals have been cut throughout Louisiana’s coastal marsh -- most of them for oil and gas wells and pipelines. A lot of them have never been filled back in, which has contributed to coastal erosion.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC BY 2.0)

Louisiana isn’t the only place in the world trying to fight back the ocean. Much of the Netherlands is below sea level, and the Dutch are well-known for their water management expertise.

 

State officials in Louisiana are signing a formal agreement to tap into that knowledge.

 

mississippiriverdelta.org

Governor John Bel Edwards recently declared coastal land loss a "State of Emergency." Officials hope this will speed up federal approval of big coastal restoration projects -- like planned river diversions south of New Orleans.

 

Though good for the coast, big land-building projects can have unintended consequences -- like changing where certain species live. So if the feds agree, instead of a lengthy environmental review process the state could get leeway and start building earlier.