St. Charles Herald-Guide

Time is running out in saving our coast

Our View - February 18, 2011

Louisiana has had a lot interruptions in efforts to save its coast in recent years. There have been lots of hurricanes. And last but not least the BP oil spill.

It seems like ages ago that we had but 10 years to go in saving that valuable coast. The plan was well thought out. Our first line of defense was to build up the barrier islands. And behind that, we were going to build up the wetlands by diverting fresh water and sediment into them from our rivers.

We did a few such diversions, the biggest one right here in St. Charles Parish. And the governor succeeded in having some of the barrier islands reinforced for purposes of stopping the flow from the oil spill.

But we still have a long way to go and that 10 years has been eaten up with more and more coastal erosion. We are really on life support now.

Money has been a problem in the past. Perhaps BP oil spill fines can help dig up more diversion projects and help get more sand on our barrier islands.

But what is really needed is effort on the part of our state and federal governments to save their most productive coastal area. The plans are already there. What are we waiting for?