Planners: Re-channel the Mississippi River to save other parts - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Planners: Re-channel the Mississippi River to save other parts of the delta closer to New Orleans

The concept of re-engineering the river is nothing new, having been discussed among engineers since the 1970s. (Source: John Snell) The concept of re-engineering the river is nothing new, having been discussed among engineers since the 1970s. (Source: John Snell)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The Mississippi River could be re-channeled and the southern-most part of the state left to the whims of nature in order to sustain areas farther north, according to the visions outlined by three international design teams.

The teams, selected from 21 entries in the Changing Course Design Competition, were tasked with finding the best way to utilize the Mississippi River for navigation and restoration purposes. The competition, sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Van Alen Institute, was detailed in a Scientific American article

"It's such a powerful engine, this river," said Steve Cochran, director for Mississippi River Delta Restoration at the Environmental Defense Fund, who oversaw the competition. "How can we use the most of it?"

The concept of re-engineering the river is nothing new, having been discussed among engineers since the 1970s. However, it rarely draws much public attention.

The bird's foot is effectively left out of the state's coastal master plan since many scientists believe subsidence and sea level rise will swallow the lower part of the delta by the turn of the century. Studies, including one at LSU, have concluded that the modern river carries roughly half its historic sediment load, suggesting the resources to rebuild the entire delta no longer exist.

Since 1932, geologists estimate the state has lost almost 2,000 square miles of marsh, bayous, swamps and islands. 

Cochran points out the project involved a 100-year planning horizon.

"Look out, what does it take for us to be here the way we want to be in 100 years - not just next year, not just 50 years?" Cochran said.

As for the fishermen who bitterly oppose the state's plans for massive diversions to deliver sediment into the marsh, he argues, "we need to think more broadly" and bring people together to find solutions. 

"That sounds idealistic, but you've got to start there and have that complete conversation," Cochran said. "So that you're doing things with people rather than to them. That's not how it feels for too many people on the bottom end of the coast right now."  

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    more>>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    more>>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    more>>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly