“Mr. Go . . . Going . . . Gone” is a TV documentary produced by one of Louisiana’s top coastal environmentalist. It is an interesting piece, to say the least, about one of the worst efforts the people of our state put forth supposedly to improve the economy through easier waterway access from the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of New Orleans.
It was doomed to failure from the start. The navigation canal was dug from the Gulf in St. Bernard Parish toward New Orleans and was completed, dedicated and put into full operation of transporting goods through a straight-line canal to the city banks. It succeeded for awhile because it cut out the curvy Mississippi River route and instead used a shipping channel that was dug through our wetlands. It was supposed to be a better and shorter way to get to the big city port.
Who would have thought it wasn’t a smart move since many port cities have shortened their access from the oceans to increase their port business?
But then the tide started to come in through the Mr. Go Channel, which it was called, and started overflowing the wetlands through which it passed. As it did, the marshes and swamps that bordered it in St. Bernard Parish started giving way. Then the narrow channel began to spread its wings and turn the parish into part of the Gulf of Mexico.
Realizing their mistake, many area officials and port authorities who approved it at first have thrown their wrath against it. In their estimation, it was one of the worst attempts ever made to improve our coast economically.
St. Bernard Parish now has lost a lot of solid land upon which to build. Hopefully, efforts being undertaken will be successful in making it a part of our productive coastline once again.
Mr. Go has been abandoned as a short cut outlet to the Gulf of Mexico by ocean going ships. Instead, we are relying once again on Mother Nature taking its course.
We must keep this example in mind when we think about how our Louisiana coastline has deteriorated over the years due to this and other attempts to turn the tides of nature unsuccessfully. It has happened in other areas where canals were dug to make it more convenient to get inland from the oceans.
Let’s keep the Gulf where it is and the mainland where it is and work from there. Then we can let both play their parts in making Louisiana serve its purpose of providing international and local water transportation.