The swamp is suffering from a lack of freshwater from natural flooding and from the penetration of saltwater through canals dug for logging. If nothing is done, scientists say the forest will become open water over time. The first phase of the project will be funded with $14 million in BP oil spill fines.
With the help of a $40 million federal grant, residents of six parishes in southeastern Louisiana have been talking about how their communities could be redesigned to deal with increased flooding. The plans are meant to complement the state’s expectations that thousands of homes will have be elevated, and some bought out, in the coming decades.