St. Charles Herald-Guide

Letís quit questioning how to save coast

Our View - April 19, 2013

Louisianaís master plan for saving its coast is now being criticized by some who claim it needs more study because it could poison the wetlands by diverting water from the Mississippi River. This is not the time for more study. It is the time for more action.

We have delayed the project of restoration for long enough and we are feeling the effects in many areas. Weíve lost not just acres but hundreds of square miles of land to the Gulf of Mexico and bays along the coast. And that will continue at an even more rapid rate unless we go full speed ahead on the stateís new 50-year plan to save it.

Some fear pollutants from the river will hurt our wetlands. Those pollutants come mainly from the Midwest where farmers let their fertilizers drain into the Mississippi River and other waterways downstream into the Gulf. So letís stop that violation of the law.

The healthiest part of our coast is at the mouth of the Atchafalaya River, a tributary of the Mississippi, where sediment has built up great masses of land. If we had more diversions and tributaries extending from the river to the Gulf, we would have much more land being built up.

Itís time to end the questions about diversions and other means of saving the coast. Letís proceed to save it full time as we have planned while continuing to study new ways to do it.