Saturday, December 10, 2005

Coastal restoration works.

Can the wetlands be restored? Yes.
Will they protect the coast? Yes, emphatically.
The Advocate:
"Van Heerden said he disagrees with another LSU researcher's assertion that coastal subsidence, or a general sinking of the land, means improving marshes won't do anything to improve hurricane protection for coastal communities.

Wax Lake Outlet, dug in the late 1940s between the Atchafalaya River and Atchafalaya Bay, continues to build a healthy delta, he said.

'That's a prime example of a coastal restoration project,' van Heerden said. 'If you look at all the wetlands from Morgan City south to Pointe au Fer Island, they're all wonderfully healthy, robust, expanding wetlands.'

And they do provide hurricane protection, he said.

Hurricane Andrew was a Category 3 storm at landfall, van Heerden said. But by the time the storm hit Morgan City, it had lost 50 percent of its wind energy and its storm surge had dropped to 8 feet because the wetlands reduced the hurricane's strength, he said."

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