Louisiana coastal master plan calls for 120 new projects - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Louisiana coastal master plan calls for 120 new projects

FILE (FOX 8) FILE (FOX 8)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

A major new levee proposal could provide protection to both sides of Lake Pontchartrain.

It highlights the state's draft of a new master plan for the coast. The master plan includes 120 projects with many in south Louisiana.

But the attention grabber is this little line in extreme eastern New Orleans. A mile-long levee and flood gates at the Chef Pass and the Rigolets.

That would be designed to knock down storm surge in a hurricane and provide a significant layer of defense for both sides of Lake Pontchartrain.

Some citizens have been very vocal in pushing for that levee as their first form of defense.

There are some other big changes.

A ring levee for Lafitte is not included in this plan. Substituting that would be a plan to flood-proof and elevate structures.

Along the coast, more than 20,000 homes would be elevated under the plan.

"This is a more realistic plan. It has some harsh future without action but it also has more opportunities than we've had in the past and diversity of projects across the board."

The projects in south Louisiana, including the most controversial parts of the plan, the river diversions.

Plans to pump massive amounts of sediment into the marsh and sometimes open bays in an attempt to build new land.

The state is not backing down.

It plans two new diversions, including one at Ama, designed to help maintain the cypress swamp around Lake Maurepas.

In the absence of any action -- if the state does nothing at all -- there are consequences for what state scientists call the medium level of risk.

Based on sea level rise and subsidence -- the fact that huge parts of Louisiana are sinking – large portions of land would be lost if nothing is done.

The plan estimates 2,250 square miles of land could be lost if no action is taken.

The state estimates the master plan would build or maintain 800 square miles of land.

The plan also projects a reduction of storm surge damage by $8.3 million annually.

Read the full report here.

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