Miss. River wetlands must be reconstructed

Sep 06, 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: Watch the Falcon 9 rocket booster descend into the ocean for its "soft" landing (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA radar watches over California's aging levees

Apr 02, 2014

One morning in 2008, research scientist Cathleen Jones of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was flying over the San Andreas fault near San Francisco, testing a new radar instrument built ...

Comet-chasing probe to be roused from sleep

Jan 16, 2014

One of the most ambitious missions in the history of space goes into high-risk mode on Monday when Europe rouses a comet-chasing probe from years of hibernation.

Climate change and the future of Mono Lake

Dec 13, 2013

Guleed Ali pauses to study his notebook, standing on a steep slope covered in gray volcanic ash and desert brush, high above the present-day shore of Mono Lake in eastern California. He looks across the slope ...

200 million people at risk from toxic pollution

Nov 05, 2013

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide risk exposure to toxic pollution, environmental groups warned Monday, publishing a list of the world's worst areas, including an African processing site for European ...

Recommended for you

Lives and deaths of sibling stars

30 minutes ago

This beautiful star cluster, NGC 3293, is found 8000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). This cluster was first spotted by the French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in ...

Heat testing the miniature Aausat 4 satellite

1 hour ago

The miniature Aausat satellite undergoes repeated temperature variations in a vacuum chamber, cooling the CubeSat to –10°C and heating it to +45°C for more than two weeks. This harsh baptism will make ...

New meteor shower "just a memory" of what once was there

1 hour ago

The weak display of last month's Camelopardalids meteor shower, the result of the close passage of comet 209P/LINEAR, may have disappointed backyard observers, but this never-before-seen shower now has scientists ...

User comments : 0