St. Charles Herald-Guide

Coastal restoration would be best protection

Our View - April 11, 2007

It is very seldom that 93 percent of the people agree on anything. But that is the number who think the proposed Louisiana coastal protection and restoration plan should get top priority in future plans for the state.

True, levees are important in protecting individual areas. The east bank of St. Charles Parish is somewhat protected with a partially finished hurricane-protection levee along Airline Highway. The west bank has little protection from any surge that could develop from a major hurricane.

Our main protection on the west bank is the distance between the Gulf of Mexico and populated areas. Unfortunately, that land is not as solid as it used to be. Those wetlands have been cut up with oil exploration and storms in the past that have turned marshes into open water in many areas. Now there is not nearly as much resistance to a surge as there once was.

Coastal protection and restoration should be our major concern, as the survey suggests. And while doing that we should work toward getting what levee protection we need that will not interfere with the overall plan.