"At the same time we were asking for help in protecting our wetlands, (the Louisiana delegation) was pushing for reducing regulations and protections," Davis said. "It was all to help the oil industry. People on the national level just couldn't take us seriously."
Another huge hurdle for planners lay in the sanctity of private property rights, which the state's congressional delegation vociferously supported. More than 80 percent of the state's coastal wetlands are privately held, so landowners had to agree to the changes caused by the restoration projects, or accept financial compensation.
The landowners also included the petrochemical industry, which sought to protect thousands of miles of pipelines and service canals running through the wetlands. Dumping new sediment into that network could close off canals, restricting access.
Real estate developers, with a stake in providing land for industries as well as residential and recreational owners, also had a vested interest in saving the coast -- but they wanted the coast-saving diversions to be installed where it wouldn't hurt their bottom line.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Losing Ground 2
It can, sadly, be summed up with Talking loud, doing nothing.