'New Louisiana Purchase' project in the works to restore state's coastline

'New Louisiana Purchase' project in the works to restore state's coastline
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Some are calling a huge project to rebuild the state's coastline "The New Louisiana Purchase."

A structure would be built on the Mississippi River near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish called the "Mid-Barataria Divergence." It would be opened a few times a year to divert sediment off the river and into an area west of Grand Isle. As part of the plan, some areas could be rebuilt up to two feet of lost land. This is part of the state's master plan for restoring and protecting the coast.

"In Louisiana, we are not always considered at the top of the list nationally on various metrics. Sometimes, unfortunately, we find ourselves toward the bottom of the list, but when it comes to a science-based master plan, we are without question number one in the United States of America and we're at the further end of coastal planning across the world," said Justin Ehrenwerth, president and CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf.

Federal permitting could take another five years, however, and there are issues still being studied, including how the diversion might affect fish and oysters in the area.

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