Restoring La. coast a national priority, study says
A new report from a team of state and national environmental and social scientists and engineers says Louisiana and the United States can't wait 50 years to restore economically and environmentally important coastal wetlands, The Times-Picayune reports. The report also says the task is likely to cost $50 billion or more and that the nation as a whole should shoulder at least part of the cost. The report attempts to answer the most troubling questions about coastal restoration, says John Day, chairman of the Mississippi River Delta Science and Engineering special team and a professor emeritus of coastal sciences at LSU. "Our discussions led us to answer a number of questions that people brought up to suggest that coastal restoration might not be feasible," Day says. "Isn't it too expensive? Is there enough sediment in the river? What about navigation and control? Won't it affect people living on the coast?" The report was prepared to help direct the coastal policy of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, a consortium of national and local environmental groups. It concludes that the negative effects of building major freshwater and sediment diversions to rebuild wetlands are easily outweighed by the economic and environmental costs of not building them. "If we don't do something fairly big very soon, in a decade or two, the effects could be disastrous," Day says. A more scientific version of the 42-page summary released Monday will be completed in a few weeks, Day says, and will be followed by a book version later this year. Check out the full story here. The complete study is available here.
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