Katrina Anniversary To Feature Media Tour To Show Lack Of Progress In Restoring Wetlands


In order to demonstrate the lack of progress in restoring wetlands east of New Orleans along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) to protect the Lower 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish, where Katrina did the most damage, a news conference, aeroplane, and van media tour were held during Hurricane Katrina’s fourth anniversary week (August 29) during the height of hurricane season. The MRGO Must Go Coalition, the organisation that is sponsoring the event, will urge the Army Corps of Engineers to uphold the president’s priority in his budget and campaign to “restore nature’s barriers – the wetlands, marshes, and barrier islands that can take the first blows and protect the people of the Gulf Coast.”


Katrina destroyed not only Louisiana and its population but also the American economy by destroying infrastructure and seriously injuring crucial refineries, some of which were out of commission for a year and caused a rise in gasoline prices. Because they lessen storm surge and safeguard levees, coastal wetlands act as a first line of defence for communities along Louisiana’s coast. Over 27,000 acres of wetlands have been completely destroyed, and MRGO has affected nearly 600,000 acres of wetlands and the coastal ecology. Because the Corps has not finished the design and engineering of the projects, Congress has been unable to fund the restoration of the MRGO wetlands and four other significant coastal restoration projects it approved in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act. The MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Plan, which must be finished before restoring the MRGO wetlands, will not be finished, according to the Corps, until March 2011, over three years beyond the May 2008 deadline set by Congress.


Charles Allen, co-director of the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and assistant director of the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane and Xavier Universities Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development Co-Director Pam Dashiell Member of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association John Koeferl (subdivision of Lower 9th Ward) St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro (invited) Lower 9th Ward resident John Taylor (invited)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 9:30 am–12:30 pm: Aircraft and bus tour; 9 am–9:30 am: News conference. Due to limited seating, reservations for the flying excursion are urgently needed.


Lower 9th Ward: Bayou Bienvenue Platform (Caffin Avenue and Florida Avenue).

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