NEW ORLEANS, LA — As the delta disappears, so does the natural protection it provides us in the city of New Orleans. Natalie Snider, Director of Science Policy for the Environmental Defense Fund, took us up above the Mississippi River to look over the land loss.
Since the 1930’s, Louisiana has lost 1.2 million acres of land. That’s the size of Delaware.
“The Mississippi built everything we’re standing on. The whole city was built on land that was built by the Mississippi River naturally. In the next 50 years, if we don’t take action, we could lose another 4,000 square miles. That’s double what we’ve already lost,” Natalie says.
However, there is a plan in place, “Louisiana has the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, large scale projects on the coast, to build the sustainability and the resilience that we need. The Coastal Master Plan includes a wide variety of projects we can go out and dredge and move sediment and build new land. Build back the barrier islands, our first line of defense. Then you could reconnect the Mississippi River to it’s wetlands.”
Right now they’re in the permitting process of the mid-barataria and mid-Breton sediment diversions. They believe that process will be completed by 2020. Once completed, construction begins. When it’s done, Natalie believes it will be one of the most amazing restoration projects in the world.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta recently released a 360 video that you can watch at home, giving you a better understanding of the land loss. Head over to MississippiRiverDelta.org to check it out.