Shrinking beaches pose clear message on what needs to be done

Several years ago, people who lived along the coast of Louisiana began realizing their home grounds was washing away.

The beach along the Gulf of Mexico kept getting smaller and the wetlands behind it kept getting bigger. We remember it well when a trip to Grand Isle would take us through almost open water alongside dead oak trees instead of the field of green trees that our coast once contained along Bayou Lafourche in Leeville.

Our state officials finally came to the attention that our entire coast was being washed away and coastal Louisiana would soon be a figment of the past. Fortunately, they became alert to that fact and they started making plans to stop the disappearance of Coastal Louisiana which was given not too many months to survive.

State leaders then started planning what could be done about it.

Many solutions were suggested and most of them depended upon the fact that the Mighty Mississippi, the greatest river in the world, ran right through our coast.

Since salt water from the Gulf had killed most of our coastal oak trees, it became obvious that we had to stop it from coming in. And the best solution seemed to be diverting the fresh water from the Mississippi River into the wetlands along the coast through river diversions that would revive the coastal plant life that would solidify our coast again.

So a master plan was developed several years ago to restore the coast. It was solidified on paper and expected to cost some billions of dollars over several years of effort.

But the future looked somewhat positive for the restoration of our coast with money from the oil fields coming in, especially that provided by the British Petroleum oil leak off the coast.

However, we were slow in getting started on such an important project, but we have never stopped looking to the future.

And such a future, hopefully, will be indicated by the words of our new state leader, Gov. John Bel Edwards who said it is an urgent matter and “a race against time,” and the person who has been a leader in the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) King Milling, who put it this way – “We are poised on the brink of getting this done.”

And with such confidence expressed by them, it is time to move forward and do the job that will make Louisiana a great state along the Gulf of Mexico again . . . and soon.

About Allen Lottinger 434 Articles
Publisher Emeritus

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