7
Sep
2005

After Centuries of 'Controlling' Land, Gulf Learns Who's the Boss

More about how vulnerable the New Orleans area is.

After Centuries of 'Controlling' Land, Gulf Learns Who's the Boss

By CORNELIA DEAN
and ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: August 30, 2005
The New York Times

The Gulf Coast has always been vulnerable to coastal storms, but over the years people have made things worse, particularly in Louisiana, where Hurricane Katrina struck yesterday. Since the 18th century, when French colonial administrators required land claimants to establish ownership by building levees along bayous, streams and rivers, people have been trying to dominate the region's landscape and the forces of its nature.

As long as people could control floods, they could do business. But, as people learned too late, the landscape of South Louisiana depends on floods: it is made of loose Mississippi River silt, and the ground subsides as this silt consolidates. Only regular floods of muddy water can replenish the sediment and keep the landscape above water. But flood control projects channel the river's nourishing sediment to the end of the birdfoot delta and out into the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico. [...] Read the rest at the New York Times web site: //tinyurl.com/73at9

If you enjoy the occasional really good editorials in the New York Times, don't miss this one: Nature's Revenge , published August 30, 2005 //tinyurl.com/8c9xt



Shrinking La. Coastline Contributes To Flooding

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 30, 2005; Page A07

Two months ago, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told an audience of congressional staffers and scientific experts the federal government needs to spend billions of dollars over the next two decades to restore her state's wetlands. She warned that intentional rerouting of the Mississippi River over the past century, coupled with rising sea levels due to climate change, had eroded Louisiana's natural buffer against massive storms.

"This is not Disneyland. This is the real deal," Landrieu said, referring to New Orleans's vulnerability to hurricanes. "The French Quarter could be under 18 feet of water. It would be lost forever." [...] Read the rest at: //tinyurl.com/b35zl

Be sure to check out TruthOut and Buzzflash, who are great publishers and re-publishers. There are so many other sites that have news on a continuing basis that it is impossible to list them. I mention those two because they have been around "for years" in computer time, and work feverishly to help keep people basically informed. //truthout.org/ and //buzzflash.com/ Two other great sites are Alternet ( //www.alternet.org/ ) and //www.Democrats.com


© Virginia Metze
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