In today's The Times-Picayune, there is the first of a three part series on the destruction of the wetlands that nourish & protect, not only New Orleans, but much of what matters to America. Or ought to matter to America.
"People think we still have 20, 30, 40 years left to get this done. They're not even close," said St. Pe, director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, which seeks to save one of the coast's most threatened and strategically vital zones.
"Ten years is how much time we have left -- if that."
"I think that shocked us as much as any other group," said Robert Twilley, director of Louisiana State University's Gulf restoration initiative who has worked on the issue for years. "I think our concern now is that we may have contributed to false optimism."
(No shit, Dick Tracy. & my emphasis.)
Studies show destruction of the wetlands protecting the infrastructure serving those industries would put $103 billion in assets at risk.
Despite such dire threats, the most disturbing concern may be this: Coastal restoration efforts have been under way for two decades, but not a single project capable of reversing the trend currently awaits approval.
The modest restoration efforts already under way have no chance of making a serious impact, experts say.
"It's like putting makeup on a corpse," said Mark Schexnayder, a regional coastal adviser with LSU's Sea Grant College Program who has spent 20 years involved in coastal restoration.
(Very New Orleans, ed. My emphasis.)
That has forced researchers at the Louisiana University Marine Consortium in Cocodrie to take boats to work, and the erosion has made life ever more precarious in communities once separated from the Gulf by miles of marsh.
(Emphasis added. Gratuitous mention of The Kid's dog, Cocodrie.)
& this has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not New Orleans ought to be rebuilt. It is not about people living in a flood/hurricane/below-sea-level area. It is about the destruction of a massive wetland. & this destruction lies at the feet of human beings through their neglect, ill-advised levee construction, refusal to recognize global warming, & we don't care about poor people attitude.