CRCL Press releases

Coalition supports the Mid-Barataria sediment diversion

March 2024

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has supported projects like the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion since our organization’s inception 36 years ago. This project is crucial to our future in southeast Louisiana. To not build it would be unthinkable. Our state’s efforts to save our coast would be futile if they do not correct a fundamental cause of coastal land loss: the starvation of our wetlands caused by the strict leveeing of the Mississippi River.

In the many years we have been calling urgently for the implementation of this project, our coastal communities have been battered by storm after storm. Insurance has become unaffordable or unavailable. We have lost hundreds of square miles of land. In the time it took to write this statement, a chunk of coastal wetlands the size of half a football field vanished – becoming open water in the Gulf of Mexico.

This sediment diversion is the most-researched public works project in our state’s history. It is the largest habitat restoration project in our nation’s history. It was designed using the best available science. It will replicate the natural processes that built the land on which many people reading this are standing right now, reintroducing fresh water, sediment and nutrients into areas that have been deprived of them for a century. It will make it possible for you to continue to stand here, to live here, to raise your children here in the years to come.

If you have doubts about whether the river can still build land or sustain life, we urge you to see for yourself. You can walk on the new land in Quarantine Bay created by Neptune Pass, a natural break in the river’s levee in lower Plaquemines Parish. You can see new forests being born there, as well as untold numbers of ducks, gators and fish of many species. In just a few short years, it has gone from a dying delta to an increasingly healthy one.

You can also cross the river to Barataria Bay, where the river has been cut off from coastal wetlands. There, in places where you could walk a generation ago, now you can only swim.

We look forward to the continued construction on the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, and we hope it is completed without delay.