Two measures would help protect us
Our View - July 26, 2007
So much attention is paid to the need for levees these days that the best means of hurricane protection are almost forgotten.
Building up the offshore islands in Louisiana would protect us more than building levees around every subdivision along our coast. It would slow down the surges that come from the Gulf before they infiltrate our bays and bayous, kill our protective vegetation and erode our land.
They will not absolutely protect us from high water but they will act as our first line of defense. From there, the protective structures would not have to be so large since the surge will not be so great.
Combine that with diverting fresh water and silt from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers into our eroding wetlands and we would have a great deal of the battle won.
There are boats that can suck up sand from the bottom of the Gulf and shoot it out along the islands to build them up. Pipelines can easily be constructed from the rivers into our wetlands for the deposit of silt.
Those protective measures have been possible for many years and yet we have made very little use of them. They are more permanent and far-reaching solutions to our problems and would make it a lot easier to keep future surges away from our doorsteps.
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