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  • RESTORE Act: A momentous victory for conservation | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Act WRDA Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Hunting and Fishing Hurricanes Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita K10 Job openings Latest News Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Whites Ditch Mardi Gras Pass Media Resources Meetings Events Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife RESTORE Act A momentous victory for conservation July 13 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster Clean Water Act Congress Restoration Projects RESTORE Act By Brian Moore Legislative Director National Audubon Society Last Friday July 6 President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation Extension Act that included the RESTORE Act This landmark legislation will direct 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP and others responsible for the 2010 gulf oil spill to the Gulf Coast states to use for restoration The House and Senate passed the bill on June 29 This legislation is truly historic the RESTORE Act is the single largest investment in environmental restoration ever made by the United States Congress The Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign has been working on this legislation for more than two years and its passage is a proud moment for everyone involved This giant step forward will provide as much as 20 billion in funds for gulf restoration and recovery Here s what it means for wildlife habitat and people Each of the five gulf states will have the financial capacity to begin and complete restoration projects that have been long planned but underfunded Thousands of acres of lost habitat for birds

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2012/07/13/restore-act-a-momentous-victory-for-conservation/ (2016-05-01)
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  • The Next 50 Years: LCA restoration projects in master plan | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita K10 Job openings Latest News Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Whites Ditch Mardi Gras Pass Media Resources Meetings Events Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife The Next 50 Years Louisiana Coastal Area projects in the master plan July 12 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in Coastal Master Plan series Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Restoration Projects Whites Ditch This is the fourth post in our The Next 50 Years Coastal Master Plan series Check back as we continue diving into the master plan and what it means for the people and environment of the Mississippi River Delta By Alisha A Renfro Ph D Staff Scientist National Wildlife Federation To formulate Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan coastal authorities evaluated nearly 250 restoration projects that had been proposed in previous parish and state level restoration plans This number was then narrowed down by setting a realistically achievable budget modeling for future environmental conditions and understanding how the implementation of individual projects could help sustain or build land over the next 50 years Projects included in the Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Comprehensive Study were among those considered for inclusion in the master plan and many of these projects or similar versions of them were included in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan By incorporating these projects in the long term vision of restoration for coastal Louisiana these projects will be better integrated with others in the master plan Additionally inclusion of these LCA projects shows the state s commitment to their construction and implementation The LCA Program was authorized through the 2007 Water Resources Development Act and includes 15 near term critical restoration projects As part of the LCA Program the state of Louisiana and the U S Army Corps of Engineers work together to plan and implement these 15 projects To date construction has not begun on any of these projects and as they near the construction phase the lack of federal funding in the immediate future threatens to delays them indefinitely That is until Congress passed the RESTORE Act in June Signed into law just last week the RESTORE Act will ensure that 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines BP and other responsible parties will pay as a result of the 2010 gulf oil spill are dedicated to environmental restoration in the gulf states In Louisiana this money will be used to help fund the restoration projects outlined in the master plan Of the 15 LCA projects nine were included in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan But in many cases the project selected and described in the master plan is a modified version of the original LCA project This is a

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2012/07/12/the-next-50-years-louisiana-coastal-area-projects-in-the-master-plan/ (2016-05-01)
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  • The Next 50 Years: Sediment diversions as a necessary restoration tool | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Diversions Restoration Projects Science This is the second post in our The Next 50 Years Coastal Master Plan series Check back as we continue diving into the master plan and what it means for the people and environment of the Mississippi River Delta By Alisha A Renfro Ph D Staff Scientist National Wildlife Federation Since 1932 coastal Louisiana has lost almost 1 900 square miles of land and if bold action is not taken another 1 700 square miles could be lost by 2060 Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan passed last month by the state legislature is a 50 year strategy that aims to realistically but aggressively use numerous restoration tools to ensure a sustainable and more resilient coast The plan s analysis indicates that sediment diversions structures that allow Mississippi and Atchafalaya River water to be moved strategically into the surrounding wetlands are critical projects for halting land loss and building a more sustainable coastline for the future of the Mississippi River Delta Symbol used for sediment diversions in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan Sediment diversions use channels and or structures to divert sediment and fresh water from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers into adjacent basins Source Coastal Restoration Protection Authority CPRA Ten projects identified as sediment diversions were judged as important restoration tools in the plan Sediment diversions mimic some of the natural processes that once built the Mississippi River deltaic region By operating these types of control structures when river discharge is high the large amount of sediment that is being moved along with the water is captured and funneled into the nearby wetlands The introduction of sediment would not only help restore areas that are today shallow open water but it would also help prevent future wetland loss due to rising sea levels Sediment diversions can build new marsh by transporting sediment laden water from the river into the nearby basin The heavier sand sediment is deposited quickly and over time and a marsh platform is built Once vegetation begins to colonize the area sediment deposition increases as silts and clays are trapped by plants and a new marsh will emerge Sediment diversions can also help sustain the newly built and existing marsh as sea levels rise by providing a source of sediment that can be deposited on the marsh surface Ultimately this can increase the elevation of the marsh surface which helps prevent prolonged flooding of the marsh even as sea levels rise Sediment diversion critics have voiced concerns about the introduction of fresh water into these basins and have questioned whether diversions are essential to restoring Louisiana s coast This map of southeastern Louisiana shows the locations of the sediment diversion projects included in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan represented by brown circled triangles like the one in the previous image The brown stippled areas show the diversion impact areas Credit CPRA To evaluate the necessity of the sediment diversion projects in the master plan the authors conducted an experiment to analyze the

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2012/06/19/the-next-50-years-sediment-diversions-as-a-necessary-restoration-tool/ (2016-05-01)
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  • NRDA Trustees should consider sustainability of projects | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife NRDA Trustees should consider long term sustainability of wetland creation projects June 13 2012 Posted by Delta Dispatches in BP Oil Disaster Diversions Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Restoration Projects By Whit Remer Policy Analyst Environmental Defense Fund In late April the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA Trustees finalized the first phase of projects to address Gulf Coast environmental damage caused by the 2010 oil disaster The trustees are a group of federal and state representatives charged with overseeing environmental restoration following the oil spill The project document known as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment ERP EA comes on the heels of the draft version released in February for public comment The document includes a variety of projects across the gulf including oyster restoration wetland creation and improvements to public amenities Rightfully the trustees have considered a diverse suite of restoration options and we encourage them to continue exploring the use of sediment diversions to achieve restoration goals in the Mississippi River Delta One of the most promising techniques for restoring rebuilding and stabilizing wetlands in coastal Louisiana is the use of sediment diversions along the Mississippi River Diversions replenish wetlands adjacent to the river with the fresh water nutrients and sediments necessary to maintain healthy ecosystem functions The State of Louisiana recently recognized the importance of such diversions in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan which the State Legislature unanimously passed earlier this month The master plan outlines

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2012/06/13/nrda-trustees-should-consider-long-term-sustainability-of-wetland-creation-projects/ (2016-05-01)
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  • The Next 50 Years | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Master Plan series Army Corps of Engineers Birds BP Oil Disaster 5 Years Later Two Years Later Climate Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA coastal restoration Community Resiliency Congress Senator David Vitter Senator Mary Landrieu Economics Job Creation Wildlife tourism Economy Federal Policy Clean Water Act Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA RESTORE Act Water Resources Development Act WRDA Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Hunting and Fishing Hurricanes Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita K10 Job openings Latest News Louisiana Coastal Area LCA Whites Ditch Mardi Gras Pass Media Resources Meetings Events Mississippi River Gulf Outlet NOAA People Faces of the Delta Profiles in Resilience Staff Profiles Tributes Voices of the Delta Reports Restoration Projects 19 Priority Projects Diversions Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife The Next 50 Years June 18 2012 Posted by Kevin Chandler in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Coastal Master Plan series By Kevin Chandler Communications Coordinator Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign Last month saw the passage of Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan This 50 year 50 billion blueprint for a sustainable coast represents the most ambitious effort yet to tackle Louisiana s coastal crisis As the plan moves from ratification to implementation it remains as important as ever to apprehend just what the plan contains and what it means for Louisiana and the nation Over the next several weeks the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign will explore the hows and whys of the Coastal Master Plan through a series we re calling The Next 50 Years Some topics include sediment diversions the Multiple Lines of Defense Strategy and nonstructural protection community assistance climate change project prioritization and funding Why address these

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2012/06/18/the-next-50-years/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Expert panel discusses diversions as a coastal restoration tool | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife Expert panel discusses diversions as a coastal restoration tool January 17 2014 Posted by Delta Dispatches in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Army Corps of Engineers Diversions Meetings Events Restoration Projects Science By Alisha A Renfro Ph D National Wildlife Federation Last week in Baton Rouge The Water Institute of the Gulf hosted the inaugural meeting of the Expert Panel on Diversion Planning and Implementation The panel comprised of 12 experts in natural and social sciences engineering and economics was selected from more than 60 nominees from across the country Panel members are all from outside Louisiana in order to foster critical and constructive review of work being led by Louisiana based experts Under the direction of The Water Institute of the Gulf and meeting up to three times a year this independent panel will provide technical review input and guidance as the state moves forward and refines its plans for diverting fresh water and sediment from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers to build maintain and sustain coastal wetlands For this first meeting the panel was asked to consider the most suitable approaches to addressing current or perceived uncertainties in the planning and design of sediment diversions The first day of this meeting was open to the public and included a series of presentations outlining the urgent need for restoration in coastal Louisiana as well as various perspectives on sediment diversions Kyle Graham Deputy Executive Director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA summarized Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan In his presentation Graham pointed out that there was no single restoration project type that can address the state s land loss crisis in one fell swoop but that a suite of restoration projects are needed including barrier island restoration marsh creation oyster barrier reefs shoreline protection hydrologic restoration and sediment diversions Barrier island restoration and marsh creation can mechanically create land in strategic locations but sediment diversions convey sediment to not only build new land but also to maintain existing wetlands that would otherwise be lost Brigadier General Duke DeLuca Commander of the U S Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division presented the Corps perspective on sediment diversions DeLuca discussed some of the questions that the Corps would like to see answered as sediment diversions move from plan to implementation Many of these outstanding questions should be directly addressed through the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study a joint project being conducted by the State of Louisiana and the Corps The study will use historic and field data along with models to do an assessment of large scale restoration features to address sustainability of the Mississippi River Delta Additional presenters included Jim Tripp from Environmental Defense Fund Michael Massimi from the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program Dr Ehab Mesehle from The Water Institute of the Gulf and Dr Alaa Ali from South Florida Water Management District In a late afternoon panel Mark Wingate and Martin

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2014/01/17/expert-panel-discusses-diversions-as-a-coastal-restoration-tool/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Recap of Wednesday's Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study Technical Meeting | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Wax Lake Delta Wildlife Recap of Wednesday s Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study Technical Meeting October 25 2013 Posted by Delta Dispatches in Army Corps of Engineers Diversions Meetings Events Restoration Projects Science By Alisha Renfro Coastal Scientist National Wildlife Federation The Mississippi River is one of the most managed river systems in the world However that management has focused on navigation and flood control needs to the detriment of the economically and ecologically important coastal Louisiana landscape This week the U S Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA hosted a public meeting in New Orleans to present information and preliminary results of their joint effort on the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study This large scale long term study is developing tools to evaluate different combinations of restoration projects in an effort to address the long term sustainability of the Mississippi River and its delta while balancing the needs of navigation flood protection and restoration The scope of the study extends from Vicksburg Miss south to the Bird s Foot delta The study is actually comprised of two coupled but somewhat distinct efforts The hydrodynamic portion of the study will focus on characterizing the dynamics in the river and developing models that can be used to evaluate river side changes due to proposed freshwater and sediment diversion projects It will also inform location and design of these projects to maximize their effectiveness and minimize the potential for shoaling in the river s navigation channel The delta management part of the study will focus on the basin side benefits and changes caused by these restoration projects The delta management portion of the study has not yet begun Currently the state of Louisiana and the Army Corps are working to define the depth and breadth of that part of the study The afternoon session of the meeting focused on detailed technical presentations on the study The different tasks of the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study include a geomorphic assessment data collection and an extensive modeling effort The geomorphic assessment focuses on compiling historical river data dredging records and satellite imagery to document the historical trends in the river The data collection effort will compile existing data and conduct field work to fill in gaps in understanding of the water and sediment dynamics that currently exist in the river The historical data and present data will be integrated into the modeling work to inform the models and to ensure that the models capture the dynamics of the river system The modeling effort includes a suite of models that each has different strengths and weaknesses These models will be used to forecast the large scale long term and shorter term regional changes expected in the river in both a future without river diversions and a future that includes different combinations of diversion projects The presentations from the technical meeting indicate that this collaborative state of Louisiana and Army Corps effort has

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2013/10/25/mississippi-river-hydrodynamic-and-delta-management-study-technical-meeting/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Study demonstrates importance of sediment diversions for building land | Restore the Mississippi River Delta
    Diversion Restore the Coast Science Science and Engineering Special Team SEST Seafood State Legislature The Netherlands Uncategorized Videos Wax Lake Delta Wildlife Study demonstrates importance of sediment diversions for building land in the Mississippi River Delta March 27 2013 Posted by Delta Dispatches in 2012 Coastal Master Plan Diversions Restoration Projects Science By Alisha A Renfro Ph D Staff Scientist National Wildlife Federation Last week an independent scientific panel comprised of prominent scientists from throughout the U S released a report Mississippi River Freshwater Diversions in Southern Louisiana Effects of Wetland Vegetation Soils and Elevation which examines some of the ecological effects of freshwater river diversions The panel concluded that there is little evidence suggesting that the existing freshwater diversions in Louisiana have appreciably reversed the rate of land loss in the region and that to reverse the land loss trend significant inputs of sediment are needed While most of the existing diversions in Louisiana were built to move fresh water only many of the diversions included in Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan focus on sediment capture and conveyance into coastal wetlands Freshwater diversions affect basins by reducing salinities Extensive dredging of canals throughout the Mississippi River Delta s wetlands has allowed for salt water from the gulf to intrude into wetlands adapted to lower salinity conditions resulting in large areas of these wetlands dying and being converted to open water Wetland vegetation is affected directly by the salinity of the water in wetland soil High salt concentrations in the soil can affect vegetation by reducing the overall rate of photosynthesis decreasing nutrient uptake and stunting growth rates Consequently the introduction of fresh water into wetland communities damaged by saltwater intrusion is vital in any restoration effort Freshwater diversions also increase the amount of nutrients introduced into the receiving basin While increases in nutrient availability to wetland vegetation would presumably stimulate growth scientific information collected in Louisiana marsh communities have exhibited varying results depending on plant species nutrient concentrations and the abundance of different types of nutrients Increasing the amount of nutrients may also alter the composition of the plant community as some species of plants have a competitive advantage when it comes to nutrient uptake and growth Locations of sediment diversion projects included in Louisians s 2012 Coastal Master Plan The brown stippled areas show the diversion impact areas Credit CPRA River diversions can also have an influence on wetland elevation In order for wetlands to persist over time processes that increase the surface elevation of the wetlands must be equal to factors that increase the threat of submergence e g sea level rise storms Diversions have the potential to promote an increase in the elevation of a wetland by adding mineral sediment to the surface and stimulating plant growth both above and below ground However the surface elevation of a wetland could decrease as nutrients become less scarce as the abundance of vegetation roots decline and as an increase in the breakdown of belowground organic material by

    Original URL path: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2013/03/27/study-demonstrates-importance-of-sediment-diversions-for-building-land-in-the-mississippi-river-delta/ (2016-05-01)
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