Restoring canals shown as cost-efficient way to reverse wetland loss

    An LSU professor’s research findings point to a cheap way to slow Louisiana land loss.

    Along with LSU alumna and researcher Giovanna McClenachan, LSU Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Professor R. Eugene Turner has proposed a way to fill in canals that were once used for oil and gas mining to prevent erosion. Their research was published recently in the journal PLOS ONE, LSU announced.

    Dredging channels for oil and gas in Louisiana’s wetlands creates rows of spoil banks, or excavated dirt and clay, which accumulate alongside the canals.

    The spoil banks were created by 35,000 permits issued from 1900 to 2017, and 27,000 of those permits are no longer used, causing land loss.

    Turner estimates that the price of backfilling all of the canals in the coastal parishes is about $335 million, or 0.67% of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan budget. Read the full story.

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