WHEREAS, many of the swamps, marshes and estuarine ecosystems of the southeastern part of Louisiana were created by the Mississippi River (River), and were nourished by the freshwater, sediment and nutrients from the River, and
WHEREAS, these ecosystems have been declining since the River was levied for flood control and navigation which deprived them of the River’s nourishment, and
WHEREAS, freshwater diversion has become an important tool in restoring coastal wetlands and combating erosion and saltwater intrusion, and
WHEREAS, a River diversion into the Maurepas Swamp and Lake Maurepas has been proposed that would introduce freshwater and sediment directly into the swamp, an area where the forests are ailing from lack of nutrients and sediments, and
WHEREAS, such a River diversion into the Maurepas Swamp would also combat saltwater intrusion on the fringes of the area and help sustain and restore marshes that are now dying, subsiding and breaking up, and
WHEREAS, a diversion located at the Hope canal near Garyville could be designed to encourage water to fan out over a very broad area allowing the swamp to assimilate the River’s nutrients and sediments, therefore minimizing the threat of algal blooms in Lake Maurepas, and
WHEREAS, on occasion of heavy local rains the diversion structure could be closed and the canal would then help to convey storm water runoff which is an aspect of the project that is very appealing to St. John the Baptist Parish officials concerned about flood control, and
WHEREAS, the issues that have been encountered in the operation of other diversion projects, such as dramatic changes in salinity that have concerned oyster growers and commercial fishermen, should not be a problem with the Maurepas Swamp Diversion because the area directly influenced by the diversion is essentially a freshwater estuarine system.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation supports the expeditious implementation of the proposed Maurepas Swamp Diversion from the Mississippi River.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 62nd Annual Meeting, March 4, 2001 in Many, Louisiana