Corps Grilled on Gulf Restoration Plan

<p>A year-late plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to restore the Louisiana Gulf Coastline is being slammed by critics.</p>
April 11, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Basic information on the sediment carried by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers is produced every year by the Geological Survey -- and has been for more than 100 years, Meade said. Yet corps officials, in the document, seemed to display little understanding of the river's potential and provided no explanation of that and other vital issues in the draft plan to restore the state's eroding coastline."

"River sediment is the key resource that will be used to rebuild wetlands and barrier islands, and the amount available in both the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, now and in the future, will determine the success or failure of individual projects, scientists say. Studies show the Mississippi carries much less sediment than 100 years ago, and dividing the remaining sediment between competing projects will be a major problem for planners."

"The plan, called the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Plan, was supposed to have been completed last December, but now isn't expected until this December. Congress had requested that it contain a variety of levee, gate and coastal restoration alternatives that could be started quickly to protect south Louisiana from the equivalent of Category 5 hurricanes. Now, Tim Axtman, the senior corps official explaining the study, was saying it 'won't include the specific identification of a detailed plan.'"

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Published on Sunday, April 6, 2008 in New Orleans Times-Picayune
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