Can the Corps Do Enough for New Orleans?

<p>The vast levee system under construction by the Army Corps of Engineers may not be sufficient to protect New Orleans as the climate continues to change.</p>
March 21, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Here's the good news: The Army Corps of Engineers is "racing" to complete a comprehensive levee system for metropolitan New Orleans by 2011 that actually takes into account global warming, at least in terms of sea-level rise."

"Here's the bad news: the levee system under development is wildly insufficient to the growing climate problem, according to many informed critics."

"That's because the vast and flat Louisiana coastal area -- sometimes called the "Bangladesh of America" because it could disappear due to sea-level rise alone -- cannot be saved just by building levees. It's the one area of America which, to survive the rising water and bigger hurricanes of a warming world, must develop human-made barrier islands and coastal marshes as an additional emergency defense. These landforms, which can be crafted using the voluminous sediments of the Mississippi River itself, would create a vital buffer that complements the levees, according to a wide range of engineers."

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Published on Thursday, March 20, 2008 in Grist
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