Here’s a simple plan to save our coast
This letter is in response to Allen Lottinger’s article about Louisiana’s deteriorating coast. He was one of the first writers to write about the problems caused by the Mississippi River levee system. I agree with the fact that “Building of levees along the Mississippi River was the main cause of the erosion of our coast...” How can we get the politicians to listen to simple suggestions about how to correct this problem?
We know that the fresh water diversion projects work. If anyone spends just a little time near the flowing waters of a diversion system, they can witness how well these projects work. However, politicians like Senator Landrieu stop projects like the Bonnet Carre’ project, because of a deal with the Mississippi Sound oyster producers. Her deal was supported by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. How come all of a sudden Louisiana’s coast line is less important than the Mississippi oysters? The Mississippi River flowed through Lake Pontchartrain for hundreds of years before people were harvesting oysters. It is natural for the Mississippi River to flow through Lake Pontchartrain. I would even believe that the lake was a fresh water lake at one time. Yet those who are supposed to protect our lake are the ones who are hurting it.
The Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion Project cost $120 million to build, but little water has flowed through this system for fear of too much fresh water in Lake Salvador. There were cypress trees on the south side of Lake Salvador at one time. Cypress trees don’t grow well in salt water; maybe Lake Salvador is supposed to be a fresh water lake also.
My suggestion to this problem is simple, maybe too simple for the politicians and bureaucrats to make money. My suggestion is to take advantage of the natural crevasses that run from the river to the Gulf Coast. These natural waterways were used by nature for years to bring fresh water and nutrients to our marsh lands. I propose installing small pumps and pipes over the levees and pump river water into these crevasses and let nature do the rest. These pumps do not have to be large or expensive. It’s amazing how many gallons per minute you can get out of a 2 h. p. pump with 2” pipe, pumping into a 2’ by 2’ ditch. A 2’ by 2’ ditch can pass thousands of gallons of nutrient rich water each year.
The idea is to use several small diversion ditches spread out from Baton Rouge to New Orleans versus one large multimillion dollar project. From Baton Rouge to New Orleans, the Mississippi River runs in a more easterly direction than a southerly direction. This would be more cost effective and work better than the large political freshwater diversion projects that the Corps has designed in the past. Many land owners would probably love to utilize these ditches, which are already running through their property, to be used as irrigation systems for farmers.
The local municipalities could be responsible for maintaining the ditches, which don’t have to be large. The local parishes cannot continue to wait for the state and federal governments to do anything. They must act immediately. I’m tired of all the millions of dollars spent on studies. It’s so simple, the river helps build the coast by spreading fresh water, nutrients and silt through the marshes. Less than 100 years ago we stopped this process with the Mississippi River levee system. Today, it’s improbable to remove the levees, but we can emulate these natural flows again with very little effort.
Passionate about Louisiana,
Edward Hymel III
21 Shadow Lane
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
The St. Charles Herald-Guide announces the hiring of reporters Anna Thibodeaux and...
Pastor Don Logan, of Boutte, was coming back from a meeting in Alexandria when the...
When Hahnville wrestler Kendrick Jones won the LHSAA Division I state championship...
Local union workers at Shell and Motiva refineries in Norco went on strike after...
Two of Luling’s newest firefighters weren’t even done with their basic training...
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who allegedly beat a...
The way hardware stores used to and should be is right here in St. Charles. Prompt courteous service from the moment you walk in. Experienced staff eager to assist you find what you need for your next project. Propane refills, U-Haul Rentals available
Rescuers save drowning driver in Killona - 1358 views
Emily Charles, 21, had begun to drive herself and five longtime friends from a Luling hotel to Southern California on Feb. 18 when she rear-ended a vehicle and lost control of her SUV at the intersection of Louisiana highways 3127 and 3142 near Dow Chemical Co. in Killona. Charles hit the brakes, but could not avoid clipping the back of the car.
“After that, I don’t even know what happened. We must have flipped,” Charles said.