Thank you to everyone who tuned in to the meeting, either in person or online.
A recording of the meeting can be found on our Facebook page (Fast forward to 9:15 for start of meeting.)
Save the Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 6:30 pm at the Edward Dufresne Community Center (Luling, LA). We will be hosting a second meeting if you’d like another chance to attend or watch online (we are currently working out details to attempt to improve audio for virtual listeners – details to come).
Louisiana Wildlife Federation will be hosting a meeting for the public to learn about the multiple benefits of diversions to restore wetlands and reduce impacts of Bonnet Carré Spillway openings.
The Bonnet Carré Spillway (BCS) is a flood-control structure and part of an overall flood control system for the Lower Mississippi River managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Recently the BCS has been operated more often than it has been in previous decades. The BCS diverts fresh floodwaters from the Mississippi River (along with sediment and nutrient loads) into Lake Pontchartrain. The flood protection benefits from BCS are well documented by the USACE.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Tulane University led a study to examine the utility of three river diversions identified and defined in the 2017 Coastal Master Plan —Maurepas, Union, and Ama — to function as auxiliary flood control options with a goal of reducing the magnitude or duration of operating the BCS.
The Union Diversion would divert freshwater into West Maurepas swamp near Burnside to provide sediment for emergent marsh creation and freshwater and fine sediment to sustain existing wetlands.
The Ama Diversion is a conceptual sediment diversion into Upper Barataria near Ama to provide sediment for emergent marsh creation and freshwater to sustain existing wetlands.
Both the Union and Ama diversion are in the State’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan. The Union Diversion is currently included in the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority’s Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Plan; in this plan, funding is allocated for the planning phase of the project. The Ama Diversion, however, is still in the conceptual phase (it has not moved to the planning phase yet).
The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp, which is also mentioned in Tulane’s study – is expected to begin construction this year.
Join us to hear from Dr. Ehab Meselhe of Tulane University as he discusses his latest research results. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions after a presentation from Dr. Meselhe. Representatives from the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also be present to answer questions.
You can also learn more in this blog article from EDF’s Devyani Kar, PhD.