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Seeking 'Green Levees' For The Gulf Coast

As land continues to subside in the Mississippi Delta, scientists are looking to natural systems to provide the flood control man-made infrastructure has failed to provide.

"The Mississippi Delta region was losing land long before Hurricane Katrina came ashore. But the correlation between land loss and the risk of flooding in the region is now more evident than ever. The scientific community is not in harmony about what mechanisms are most responsible for the land loss or what to do about it, says Dr. J. David Rogers, the Hasselman Chair of Geological Engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla."

"Following the Katrina disaster, Rogers was appointed to the National Science Foundation's Independent Levee Investigation Team. He is also a member of the Coastal Louisiana Recovery Panel, which is charged with making recommendations for a new flood defense system. Among other things, panelists are exploring ways to construct 'green levees' by utilizing soil reinforcement technology."

"'We need to get away from old ideas and systems of defense that have proven unreliable, and try to explore new technologies,' Rogers says. 'Some of the new infrastructure will be buried beneath the river, and we'll have to be opportunistic in diverting and managing silt-laden flood waters. It's going to require a higher level of management than has previously been applied to the Mississippi River corridor.'"

Full Story: Why Are We Losing Louisiana

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