Fishers, coastal restoration advocates debate diversion plan

Published: Jun. 18, 2013 at 2:51 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM CDT
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Chalmette, La. - Some came in shrimp boots, many held signs that read "Fully United STOP Diversions" and most of the speakers said dredge, not divert.

The Louisiana Coalition for Protection and Restoration headed up a panel of experts answering questions about the state's master plan for coastal restoration.

The plan includes two sediment diversion projects in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.  The one near Braithwaite would be designed to move up to 250,000 cubic feet per second of sediment from the Mississippi River out through the marshes.

Supporters of the master plan say that's the best and most economical way to rebuild the shrinking coastline and protect the area from storm surge.

Fishermen, business owners and opponents of the plan say sending that much freshwater from the river will destroy their livelihood.

The meeting stretched on for more than four hours with the CPRA hearing more comments than they could respond to in one night.

The debate is far from over.