In the rush to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, Congress told the Corps of Engineers to raise the levees and floodwalls around New Orleans to protect against a 100-year storm. There was one problem: That was weaker than what Congress ordered 50 years ago.
Raising $50 billion for the ambitious Master Plan to rebuild the Louisiana coast was never going to be easy. Though the BP oil spill will yield billions of dollars for projects, the state could come up $20 billion short. To close the gap, the state will try to change how the Mississippi River is dredged and will consider pollution-credit programs.