Environment
 

Experts will discuss tough choices facing Louisiana as seas rise and land sinks

Should the mouth of the Mississippi River be moved north to Port Sulphur, or even English Turn on the lower coast of Algiers?

Can the state’s Coastal Master Plan save communities south of U.S. 90, or should they start planning to move now?

Will the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers need to dredge a new shipping channel for the Port of New Orleans?

Experts will discuss these and other serious choices stemming from rising seas and sinking land during the annual Water Symposium on Thursday. It will be held at the Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., at 5:30 p.m.

The panelists will be:

  • Denise Reed, chief scientist at the Water Institute of the Gulf
  • Steve Cochran, campaign director of Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition
  • Clinton Willson, an environmental engineer at Louisiana State University
  • Robert Nairn, director of the engineering firm Baird and Associates
  • Deborah Keller, CEO of Deborah D. Keller and Partners engineers

David Muth of the National Wildlife Federation will moderate the discussion. “We’ll be focusing on how to manage the lower river for navigation, restoration and flood control in the face of these very serious changes coming our way,” he said.

“Sea level rise is the most obvious, but we also have serious subsidence in that area,” he said. The Bird’s Foot Delta, where the river splits into many channels and dumps into the Gulf, is sinking about 8 feet a century, he said.

Experts will be available to talk with the audience at a potluck dinner after the event.

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