Ripped to shreds by Katrina, protective barrier islands along Louisiana’s gulf coast are being rebuilt as we speak.
WGNO News flew along with Governor Bobby Jindal who wants congress to speed up the process.
“We are here to say enough is enough,” says Governor Jindal along with parish leaders who took off by helicopter to check on the rebuilding of three key ‘barrier’ islands: Shell, Scofield and Pelican Islands.
Jindal says since Katrina state dollars have funded the rebuilding of every island in the lower Barataria Bay: “Two weeks ago this was open water. We are dredging sediment out of the Mississippi river twenty miles away, piping it here to build this island.”
Even though state and local leaders are excited about the progress and momentum, Jindal says bigger challenges still lie ahead.
“The federal government, the congress has not appropriated a single dollar toward the construction of these projects.”
Jindal wants the federal government to finish environmental studies and put billions of already allocated ‘coastal restoration’ funds into action.
“This is our first line of defense against that next hurricane or against that tidal surge,” he said.
The $72 million Scofield Island project was the first ever to use sand dredged from the Mississippi river to rebuild a barrier island.