Miss. River wetlands must be reconstructed

September 6, 2005

Scientists say the New Orleans flooding might have been prevented had the Mississippi River's delta and barrier islands been intact.
But now the scientists say a Manhattan Project-style effort must be made to restore the islands and marshes that once protected the Crescent City area from hurricanes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

The river, over some 7,000 years, created a huge delta that sheltered the region from storm surges. But the delta, its wetlands and islands began disappearing after the river was diverted in 1930, preventing the depositing of silt and sand at its mouth, the report said.

Many scientists believe the delta and barrier islands must be reconstructed to ensure a catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina is not repeated.

"New Orleans won't be safe from another storm like Katrina until we restore this hurricane buffer," Robert Twilley, a professor of wetland science at Louisiana State University, told the Chronicle. Twilley estimated such a marshland rehabilitation project might cost as much as $14 billion.

Researchers estimate the storm surge potential is reduced by 1-foot for every square mile of wetland that is restored.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: UNESCO urges halt to plan for Bangladesh coal plant in delta

Related Stories

UNESCO urges halt to plan for Bangladesh coal plant in delta

October 20, 2016

The U.N. agency devoted to preserving world heritage has joined environmental groups urging Bangladesh to halt plans for a massive coal-fired power plant near ecologically sensitive mangrove forests on the coast. UNESCO says ...

Ocean plastic cleanup team plan 2016 system launch

June 3, 2015

Throw-away package wraps, bottles, sandwich wrappings, carrier bags—they all contribute to a sense of hopelessness when one sees the mess of plastic in the ocean thanks to shocking pictures confirming the mess we're in. ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.