NEW ORLEANS — Earlier today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced an update to the permitting timeline for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. The updates will advance the target date for completion of an Environmental Impact Statement and issuance of required decisions and permits from 2022 to 2020, shaving 22 months off the original schedule.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of national and local conservation groups, has long advocated for sediment diversions, including the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, as critical to addressing Louisiana’s land loss crisis and maintaining a healthy, productive ecosystem. In response to these timeline updates, Restore the Mississippi River Delta issued the following statement:
“For a landscape where wetland loss is measured at an hourly rate, shaving nearly two years off the permitting timeline for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is a significant accomplishment. This updated timeline for the project begins to reflect the true urgency of the environmental and economic crisis facing coastal Louisiana.
“The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is the most effective tool available to combat catastrophic land loss in the Barataria Basin. By accelerating construction of this keystone project, we can truly drive the process of sustaining existing wetlands and building new land.
“We thank the State of Louisiana, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees and lead trustee the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council for the collaboration and commitment that produced these time-savings for this essential project. We look forward to working with the parties involved to continue to find efficiencies in our collective efforts to restore the vital Mississippi River Delta ecosystem.”
Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces an ongoing and severe land loss crisis, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation,Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at mississippiriverdelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.