Coastal restoration should come first, Mr. Governor to Be
If we fail to stop it, we could be beyond the point of no return in 10 years. The Gulf could well be on its way to its former home upriver.
We’ve studied and planned over and over again for the past 50 years how to stop it but we have done very little to prevent it.
The Herald-Guide published a letter from Edward Hymel III of Destrehan three weeks ago suggesting that we build many small inexpensive pipelines over the levees and pump river water through them into the natural crevasses that exist between the levees and the Gulf Coast. It would then flow through the wetlands and restore them to fresh water status, making them healthy again, growing small vegetation and trees and stopping the intrusion of water from the Gulf.
The parishes could maintain the pumps. We would not have to wait around for the federal government and its bungling bureaucracy to study the projects over and over again while the Gulf rushes in.
We will also need to replenish the wetlands with silt from the river through somewhat larger pipes. But it can be done easily over 30 or 40 miles with relatively inexpensive equipment. It is not that big a problem. We will also need to build up the barrier islands, our first line of defense, with sand pumped in from offshore.
So, Mr. Governor to Be, please make coastal restoration your number one objective. None of the other planks on your platform will matter if you don’t. Because there will be no place to put health facilities or schools or even houses for people to live in. And, also, there will be no people in coastal Louisiana for those facilities to benefit.
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