Louisiana’s oystering community has been a champion of protecting and restoring our damaged coastal environment for decades. We are active and vocal advocates for policies and projects that work responsibly toward saving our coastal communities.
The proposed Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion (MBSD) project threatens our community, our culture, our future, and our overall way of life. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has willfully failed to give genuine consideration to any other applicable alternative to save our coast. All six alternatives examined by CPRA call for a massive freshwater diversion which would flood our estuary while devastating our most valuable natural resources – our seafood – with minimal land built in 50 years.
The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) states that the MBSD will create 85,500 acres of wetlands by 2070 with the diversion but with no action, the basin will still gain 72,800 acres. At nearly $2 billion that means this project will cost more than $150,000 per acre to generate a mere 12,700 acres of new marshland.
A false narrative exists that OTF opposes river diversions in general, but the truth is the Canaervon Freshwater Diversion project was begun by oystermen, and the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion project required the oyster industry to work with the state and federal government to relocate oystermen.
The MBSD is not smart coastal planning. Louisiana should be exploring more viable and less intrusive options including dredging which has been proven to reduce land loss and rebuild habitat that protects our coast and coastal residents.