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  • Wildlife and Natural Resources | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    shellfish reptiles and amphibians and nearly unfathomable multitudes of smaller organisms that hold the entire food web together The delta is a vast and dynamic tapestry of forests swamps marshes sloughs river channels estuaries and islands Taken together these habitats make up one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in North America but as the tapestry continues to unravel more and more organisms lose the habitats they need to survive Birds Brown pelicans David J Ringer National Audubon Society The Mississippi River Delta supports more than 400 species of birds providing critical breeding wintering and migratory stopover habitat for 100 million individual birds each year including approximately 5 million ducks and geese Bottomland hardwood forests and cypress tupelo swamps in the upper reaches of the delta provide habitat for a host of neotropical migratory songbirds ducks wading birds and other forested wetland specialists including the rapidly declining Rusty Blackbird The delta s fresh brackish and salt marshes are home to terns wading birds shorebirds and secretive marsh birds including Clapper Rails and Seaside Sparrows And the delta s islands support staggering concentrations of breeding waterbirds including the Brown Pelican Louisiana s state bird wading birds herons egrets spoonbills and ibises terns gulls and shorebirds For millions of birds that traverse the Mississippi Flyway each year the delta s food rich habitats are the last stop before a grueling 500 to 600 mile nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico in the fall or conversely in the spring a desperately needed refuge for hungry and exhausted birds returning north across the Gulf Thus the collapse of the delta threatens not only its year round residents but also some of North America s most colorful and iconic backyard birds and other species birds whose lives quite literally span the hemisphere

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/discover-the-delta/america-needs-the-delta/wildlife-and-natural-resources/ (2016-05-01)
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  • The Delta and America’s Economy | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Mardi Gras beads or crawfish boils Louisiana acts as the nerve center for an extensive web of transportation infrastructure connecting the Mississippi River Delta with cities across the country Shipping Ports like Baton Rouge and Lake Charles link the Mississippi and the American Midwest with the rest of the world With five of the country s fifteen largest ports within its borders Louisiana handles about a fifth of all water born commerce in the United States making the state a vital conduit for foreign and domestic trade Every year Louisiana ships more than 100 billion worth of commodities and finished goods to the rest of the United States while simultaneously receiving an almost equal amount of agricultural produce machinery and other products from factories farms and urban areas in the Mississippi River Valley and other sections of the country Many of these inbound shipments are destined for international markets In 2010 alone more than 30 billion in exports passed through the Port of New Orleans on their way to important trade destinations such as China Japan and Mexico Natural Resources In addition the state is blessed with an abundance of natural resources Fisheries in and around coastal Louisiana serve as an important source of seafood for much of the United States while the wetland habitats of the Mississippi River Delta attract hundreds of thousands of hunters and fisherman each year Powering all of this activity are the abundant energy reserves that lie underneath Louisiana and its surrounding waters Processing and production facilities for energy commodities are concentrated in the southern reaches of the state close to the vast pools of oil and natural gas that lie beneath the northern Gulf of Mexico The Challenges Involved It might come as a surprise then to learn that Louisiana is a state with

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/discover-the-delta/america-needs-the-delta/delta-and-americas-economy/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Restoration Projects | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    of a comprehensive vision for the delta s future Below are some of the most critical projects still needing action Successfully implementing these will demonstrate the effectiveness of these restoration techniques thereby leading to their expanded use throughout the delta Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion The mid Barataria diversion project was authorized in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act WRDA as a medium size diversion intended to mimic natural land building processes by reintroducing sediment to the basin Congress authorized a modification to the project to maximize land building with the goal of protecting people and infrastructure during storm events The receiving basin of this diversion Barataria Bay on the western side of the Mississippi River has experienced some of the highest rates of land loss in coastal Louisiana over 450 square miles since 1932 The opportunity of mid Barataria inspired a unique collaboration between Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA and Mississippi River Delta Coalition partners For this project the collaborative enlisted a team of experienced academic and technical consultants to undertake a comprehensive field data collection physical hydrodynamic and morphological modeling effort This work has been used to assess the optimal location and capacity of a diversion to maximize land building in the basin while taking into account possible impacts on navigation water level and salinity The results indicate that a pulsed diversion capturing 5 or more of the river s flow during high river discharges delivers significantly more sediment and greatly increases land building in Barataria Bay Currently an effort is underway to share this information with regional stakeholder groups and solicit their input MRGO and the Central Wetlands The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet MRGO a shipping channel opened in the 1960s as a shortcut between the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of New Orleans completely destroyed over 27 000 acres of wetlands and impacted over 600 000 acres of coastal ecosystem due to saltwater intrusion Prior to construction of the MRGO the coastal wetlands provided economic opportunities helped to clean water and provided natural storm surge protection to nearby urban communities like the Lower Ninth Ward New Orleans East Chalmette and Arabi Hurricane Katrina underscored the gravity of MRGO s impact on wetlands and public safety when storm waves decimated the levees along the MRGO while the surge was still rising This large scale breach of levees resulted in catastrophic deadly flooding of communities In 2007 the U S Congress singled out the MRGO s role in Katrina s devastation by calling for the Army Corps to close the MRGO and to develop a plan for ecosystem restoration We are working to ensure comprehensive restoration of this critical ecosystem Visit www MRGOmustGO org to learn more and take action Atchafalaya River System The magnificent Atchafalaya River Basin is the largest remaining river swamp in the United States and one of our country s last great wilderness areas Thirty percent of the combined flow of the Mississippi and Red Rivers is routed down the Atchafalaya

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-projects/overview/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Interactive Restoration Projects Map | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    List Key Principles Our Work Overview 10 FAQ s about restoring the delta Science Public Policy 2012 Coastal Master Plan RESTORE Act Natural Resource Damage Assessment Economics Blog Media Room Media Resource Us in the News Latest Delta News Fact Sheets Press Releases Reports and Resources Videos About Who We Are What We Do Meet Our Experts Contact Upcoming Events Support Restoration Sign up Take Action Protect The Funding Volunteer All Projects Project Type Basin 19 Top Priorities for Restoring the Louisiana Coast Show Cities Show Basins Baton Rouge Lafayette Lake Charles Abbeville New Iberia Thibodaux Morgan City Houma Bay St Louis Slidell New Orleans Hopedale Pointe å la Hache Venice Grand Isle Larose Breton Chandeleur Basin Pontchartrain Maurepas Basin Barataria Basin Terrebonne Atchafalaya Basin Chenier Plain Project Types Basins The rate of land loss in Louisiana is immense more than an acre of land disappears into open water every hour Fortunately the state of Louisiana is uniquely positioned to address this problem In 2012 the state passed a landmark plan for a revived coast and a secure future called the Louisiana 2012 Coastal Master Plan In this plan the state selected 109 high performing projects that could substantially increase

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-projects/map/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Project Regions | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    each other Projects work in tandem to restore and maintain resiliency Barataria Basin Located immediately west and south of New Orleans the Barataria Basin is well known destination for hunting and fishing because it is one of the nation s most productive estuaries However levees built along the Mississippi River have starved this area of sediment and fresh water Habitats throughout the estuary are collapsing and barrier islands are rapidly eroding The projects chosen for this basin would support the critical need for an infusion of fresh water sediment and nutrients to build new land and sustain and protect existing wetlands They include Mid Barataria Diversion Lower Barataria Diversion Barataria Marsh Restoration via Sediment Conveyance Pipeline West Barataria Pass to Sandy Point Barrier Island Restoration Belle Pass to Caminada Pass Barrier Island Restoration Back to top Breton Chandeleur Basin The Breton Chandeleur Basin is a large open sound bordered by Mississippi River levees on the west and remnants of a barrier island chain on the east Man made structures have starved this area of sediment carrying water for almost a century and the marsh edges are regularly eaten away by wave induced erosion Some of the following projects for this basin would slow the rate of land loss by building new land and strengthening soils Other projects will prolong the life of the marshes and provide habitat for fish and birds by reducing wave and tidal energy Mid Breton Sediment Diversion Lower Breton Sediment Diversion Bayou la Loutre Ridge Restoration Biloxi Marsh Oyster Reef Restoration Back to top Chenier Plain This basin located along the coast of southwestern Louisiana features a series of beach ridges cheniers that give the area structural stability While relatively stable this area has been significantly harmed by oil gas and navigation canals Those canals funnel

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-projects/regions/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Project Types | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Resource Us in the News Latest Delta News Fact Sheets Press Releases Reports and Resources Videos About Who We Are What We Do Meet Our Experts Contact Upcoming Events Support Restoration Sign up Take Action Protect The Funding Volunteer Restoration Projects Restoration Projects Interactive Restoration Projects Map Project Regions Project Types Project List Key Principles RELATED SOURCES Project Types Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan includes a variety of projects to both restore Louisiana s disappearing coast as well as to protect the communities and industries that call our state home Priority coastal restoration projects can be broken out into the following types Barrier Island and Headland Restoration Creation and restoration of dune beach and back barrier marsh to restore Louisiana s offshore barrier islands and headlands which serve as our first line of defense against storms Hydrologic Restoration Use of structures and or channels to divert fresh water from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers into adjacent basins to build land Marsh Creation Dredged sediment is used to build land in open water areas Oyster Reef Restoration Structures engineered to encourage oyster development are used to create living shorelines that provide protection from erosion caused by waves Additionally oyster reef

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-projects/types/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Project List | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Economy Restoration Projects Restoration Projects Interactive Map of Projects Project Regions Project Types Project List Key Principles Our Work Overview 10 FAQ s about restoring the delta Science Public Policy 2012 Coastal Master Plan RESTORE Act Natural Resource Damage Assessment Economics Blog Media Room Media Resource Us in the News Latest Delta News Fact Sheets Press Releases Reports and Resources Videos About Who We Are What We Do Meet Our Experts Contact Upcoming Events Support Restoration Sign up Take Action Protect The Funding Volunteer Restoration Projects Restoration Projects Interactive Restoration Projects Map Project Regions Project Types Project List Key Principles RELATED SOURCES Project List Below is an A to Z list of projects considered priorities by our coalition Not sure where to start You can also search for projects by type or by basin Barataria Marsh Restoration via Sediment Conveyance Pipeline West Barataria Pass to Sandy Point Barrier Island Restoration Bayou la Loutre Ridge Restoration Belle Pass to Caminada Pass Barrier Island Restoration Biloxi Marsh Oyster Reef Restoration Calcasieu Ship Channel Hydrological Modification Central Wetlands Diversion Convey Atchafalaya River Water via the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Freshwater Bayou to Southwest Pass Shoreline Protection Golden Triangle Marsh Creation Houma Navigation Canal Hydrological

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-projects/list/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Key Principles of Restoration | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    this contributes to the unique culture of south Louisiana Reconnecting the river to the surrounding wetlands through large scale controlled sediment diversions that mimic the river s natural land building function will help save the delta from collapse Managing and using sediment to build land For the coast to survive every bit of sediment must be used effectively Instead of treating it as a nuisance that hinders navigation we must value river sediment as a precious and limited resource Every year 22 million cubic yards of sand and mud the life blood of the wetlands are dredged to make way for shipping and dumped into the deep water off the Gulf of Mexico s continental shelf Instead appropriately placed sediment diversions and strategic placement of dredged material can capture this valuable resource to sustain and build coastal land Use of Old River Control Structure ORCS The Atchafalaya River is the largest distributary of the Mississippi River and feeds the largest river swamp in the United States To maintain the Mississippi River for navigation the Old River Control Complex restricts the Atchafalaya River to 30 percent of the combined flow of the two rivers an arbitrary number Instead the ORCS should manage flows based on an ecologically sound plan for sustaining and restoring the wetlands on both rivers Non structural flood protection Flood control projects along the Mississippi River over the last century have created a false sense of security among coastal engineers as well as inhabitants of low lying coastal communities Recent flooding from hurricanes has emphasized that levees fail and that communities are ever more vulnerable as coastal land loss and sea level rise continue Communities are learning to become more resilient by elevating homes flood proofing businesses and hardening coastal facilities reducing flood risks for people and property

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/restoration-projects/key-principles/ (2016-05-01)
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