Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Time to Move the Mississippi, Experts Say
NY Times ^ | September 19, 2006 | CORNELIA DEAN

Posted on 09/19/2006 10:55:32 PM PDT by neverdem

Scientists have long said the only way to restore Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands is to undo the elaborate levee system that controls the Mississippi River, not with the small projects that have been tried here and there, but with a massive diversion that would send the muddy river flooding wholesale into the state’s sediment-starved marshes.

And most of them have long dismissed the idea as impractical, unaffordable and lethal to the region’s economy. Now, they are reconsidering. In fact, when a group of researchers convened last April to consider the fate of the Louisiana coast, their recommendation was unanimous: divert the river.

Far from rejecting the idea, state officials have embraced it, motivated not just by the lessons of Hurricane Katrina but also by growing fears that global climate change will bring rising seas, accelerating land loss and worse weather.

“A major diversion in the lower part of the river is something that needs to be done,” said James R. Hanchey, deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. He said the state was convening a planning meeting on the idea this fall. The diversion would be well downstream of New Orleans, in the bird-foot delta at the river’s mouth. Even so, there would be tremendous engineering challenges, particularly in finding a new way for freighters to make their way into the Mississippi’s shipping channel, said Mr. Hanchey, who took his job after retiring as director of engineering and technical services for the Mississippi Valley division of the Army Corps of Engineers. But he added, “I think it’s within the realm of possibility.”

Ellis J. Clairain Jr., interim director of the Louisiana Coastal Area science and technology program for the Army Corps, called the idea “a possible alternative.”

And Virginia R. Burkett, coordinator of global-change science for the United States...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Technical; US: District of Columbia; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: dams; engineering; engineers; mississippiriver; science; wetlands

Vincent Laforet for The New York Times
Since the Mississippi River was leveed in the 1800's, Louisiana has lost most of its coastline, which is normally replenished by river sediment.

Vincent Laforet for The New York Times
Many scientists advocate diverting the Mississippi River below New Orleans, where towns like Pilottown, above, sit along the delta.

Redirecting a River Overwide grapic opens link in a new window; enlarge to read it.
regular Times webpage with all the crap if you want to view the other photos with an audio track
1 posted on 09/19/2006 10:55:34 PM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
In Science-Based Medicine, Where Does Luck Fit In?

The Ten Great Myths in the Debate Over Stem Cell Research

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

2 posted on 09/19/2006 11:04:05 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Can we move it so it floods Barbra Streisand's yard?


3 posted on 09/19/2006 11:13:03 PM PDT by JillValentine (Being a feminist is all about being a victim. Being an armed woman is all about not being a victim.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JillValentine
Can we move it so it floods Barbra Streisand's yard?

Babs lives in Malibu, so our best hope is global warming/sea level rise. That's why I always leave my Lincoln Navigator idling overnight.

4 posted on 09/19/2006 11:20:34 PM PDT by rogue yam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Man usually finds a way to mess up what nature has taken ages to construct.. that is one hellacious pile of sediment per year, btw

just so the "experts" account for minimizing the likelihood of unintended consequences


5 posted on 09/19/2006 11:38:18 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rogue yam

Babs couldn't keep the photo of her cliff top/edge pad offline. We'd have to melt the whole Antarctic ice cape to flood it. It's more realistic to hope for a quake/tsunami combo to dump her in the brink.


6 posted on 09/20/2006 12:45:42 AM PDT by JohnBovenmyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rogue yam
"Can we move it so it floods Barbra Streisand's yard?

Babs lives in Malibu, so our best hope is global warming/sea level rise. That's why I always leave my Lincoln Navigator idling overnight "

You're naughty! Of course, for the last five years I have been deliberately and ceremoniously throwing aluminum cans into the garbage instead of recycling, in order to piss off liberals. Didn't you know that recycling is one of the left's Ten Commmandments?

7 posted on 09/20/2006 2:37:14 AM PDT by tom h
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; NormsRevenge
It's mausing to me that the only place I saw this advocated immediately after Katrina was right here at FR. I think finally reality has begun to sink in, and things that were taken for granted pre-Katrina are now finally being re-evaluated. (For one, people are realizing that it's very expensive to fight Mother Nature--rather than work with her--and it also involves a downside elsewhere in the system.)

Of course, if we don't do anything to make this happen, nature will take its course (literally) and do it all in an uncontrolled fashion. That is, we don't have to move the Mississippi--we just have to stop preventing it from moving, and it will do it how it wants (so to speak :-)!

8 posted on 09/20/2006 3:23:25 AM PDT by Gondring (If "Conservatives" now want to "conserve" our Constitution away, then I must be a Preservative!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tom h; rogue yam
for the last five years I have been deliberately and ceremoniously throwing aluminum cans into the garbage instead of recycling, in order to piss off liberals.

The Islamofascists thank you.

9 posted on 09/20/2006 3:24:00 AM PDT by Gondring (If "Conservatives" now want to "conserve" our Constitution away, then I must be a Preservative!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; JimWforBush; The SISU kid; lump in the melting pot; Wilhelm Tell; sauropod; ...

Civil Engineers ping.


10 posted on 09/20/2006 3:32:13 AM PDT by Toby06 (Hydrogen is not a fuel source. Hydrogen is an energy storage method, like a battery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Destroy the levees and let the Mississippi run wild... that's the ticket. Save the swamps for the mosquitoes, crocodiles and poisonous snakes while destroying inhabitable land and possibly killing human beings due to the unbridled flooding. But at least the swamps will be saved.

What a maroon!

11 posted on 09/20/2006 4:05:15 AM PDT by Jmouse007 (Convert, Slavery or Death = "Islam the Religion of Peace tm" "It's time to play Cowboys and Muslims")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Toby06

Paging General U. S. Grant, please pick up the white courtesy phone.


12 posted on 09/20/2006 4:05:15 AM PDT by battlegearboat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Jmouse007

Actually, the swamps etc. act as a buffer and help minimize flooding. Training the mississippi between manmade barriers only raises the potential for worse flooding in bigger storm events.


13 posted on 09/20/2006 4:16:51 AM PDT by Toby06 (Hydrogen is not a fuel source. Hydrogen is an energy storage method, like a battery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Jmouse007

You're not much given to thinking over the long-term, are you?


14 posted on 09/20/2006 4:26:17 AM PDT by Clara Lou (8-)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Unintended consequences! When you screw with the Mississippi that is exactly what you're going to get. I will bet that left to its own it wouldn't be long before New Orleans and the Mississippi river were not mentioned in the same sentence.


15 posted on 09/20/2006 4:30:29 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Marine Spec Ops Dad)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Crikeys!! It appears that we haven't learned a whole heck of a lot about monkeying with Nature. In FloriDUH, they re-directed a river (don't recall which one) and it caused them no end of trouble. Eventually, they just let it return to its natural bed and the problems went away.

The Mississloppi River has been no end of problems since it was re-directed. The levee system has been expensive to maintain and, after a hard rain, Nawlins pumping stations work overtime draining flooded streets. In the words of Susan Powter, "End the madness!" Let the Mississloppi return to its natural bed and just deal with it! It's what nature intended.


16 posted on 09/20/2006 4:40:40 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tom h

I thought recycling is a conservative ideal, together with frugality. The difference between libs recycling and conservitives recycling, is that conservatives do it to be frugal and conserve, while libs do it to be sanctimonious and smug.


17 posted on 09/20/2006 4:52:28 AM PDT by Szent_Adam_Kiraly ("google maps is the best! " "true that, Double true!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Toby06
Actually, the swamps etc. act as a buffer and help minimize flooding. Training the mississippi between manmade barriers only raises the potential for worse flooding in bigger storm events.

Horse Sh**. You obviously don't know your history. The mississippi had horendous floods before the levee system was put in place, ditto California's river systems that used to flood so bad people could row a boat(cross country)between Sacramento and Stockton in the winter. Marshes and swamps are more important than people? I thought that this was a conservative forum? Where are they?

18 posted on 09/20/2006 5:14:53 AM PDT by calex59 (Hillary Clinton is dumber than a one eyed monkey with a brain tumor(credit to Harley69))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

I wonder if they have considered consulting with the Netherlands, since they seem to have a pretty good handle on this sort of thing over there and they've been doing it for many years.


19 posted on 09/20/2006 5:49:40 AM PDT by capt. norm (The liberalism = cowardice disguised as tolerance.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: calex59

The places where people mostly live are above the areas they want to divert water in...and if they don't divert the water there, there will be nothing left.

It's impossible to live on a big river without there being floods. The levee system they use now just channels the floods to the spillways instead of onto people's homes, but even then, every now and then a levee will fail...

And one high water year, the old river control where the Missisippi and Atchafayala rivers touch, will give way, and a whole lot more of the Missisippi will go down the Atchafayala. And that will be a real mess.

There are places you need the flooding though. The marshes on the coast need that sediment...They will be pumping raw river water into these areas, rather than tearing down the levees, I suspect...they've done some pilot programs and it really helped the areas they did that to.


20 posted on 09/20/2006 5:56:24 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

People best realize that the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA will be involved. Anytime you get these two lunatic branches of government together think "disaster."

These two federal "F-ups" are currently engaged in a sh*t throwing contest in Michigan to get tiled drains on farmlands classified as navigable waterways under the bureaucratically defined "migratory molecule" rule. That means a ditch can be defined as a navigable waterway if a molecule of H2O is grabbed by the sun and deposited as rain in a navigable waterway.

These two agencies combined hit +10 on the moron meter.

Look up Rapanos v US for stupidity, attempted extortion, trespassing, violation of civil rights and perjury by federal agents engaged in destruction of private property. I won't hold my breath waiting for congress to investigate these two criminal entereprises and throw these people in prison.

Believe me, Louisianna doesn't want these two fascist agencies in the state.


21 posted on 09/20/2006 6:37:54 AM PDT by sergeantdave (Consider that nearly half the people you pass on the street meet Lenin's definition of useful idiot)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Time to Move the Mississippi, Experts Say

Ya gotta love the arrogance of some. The Mississippi will move when it decides to move. Already a sizeable portion of the river goes down the Atchafalaya. Sooner or later all of it will.

22 posted on 09/20/2006 6:43:18 AM PDT by dirtboy (This tagline has been photoshopped)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gondring

This article should have been written by scapple face. You would have more luck moving the grand canyon than you would the mouth of the Mississippi. The idea of is beyond reality


23 posted on 09/20/2006 6:48:55 AM PDT by Walkingfeather (u)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

It has moved before, and will again. All the levies in the world won't stop it in the end.


24 posted on 09/20/2006 6:51:54 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; Miss Marple

As a geologist, I second this notion.

The Mississippi will flow where ever it wants to some day.


25 posted on 09/20/2006 8:56:39 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Drill ANWR, Personal Accounts NOW.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

So, without those levees erected so long ago, Those oil platforms in the gulf would have been unnessary because the sediment would have filled in the gulf and Louisiana would be the biggest state in the union.


26 posted on 09/20/2006 9:18:15 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

"Deforestation... has resulted in a ten-fold increase in sediment from the Ohio River."

Deforestation, my ass! There are more trees than there ever were in that part of the country.


27 posted on 09/20/2006 9:33:25 AM PDT by dangus (Pope calls Islam violent; Millions of Moslems demonstrate)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dirtboy; Walkingfeather
The Mississippi will move when it decides to move.

It "decided to move" long ago... lots of money has been dumped into blocking it from going where it "wants to go"...

28 posted on 09/20/2006 2:10:46 PM PDT by Gondring (If "Conservatives" now want to "conserve" our Constitution away, then I must be a Preservative!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Toby06
Call Mega Movers!
29 posted on 09/20/2006 2:13:51 PM PDT by AFreeBird (If American "cowboy diplomacy" did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Szent_Adam_Kiraly; Gondring
"I thought recycling is a conservative ideal, together with frugality. The difference between libs recycling and conservitives recycling, is that conservatives do it to be frugal and conserve, while libs do it to be sanctimonious and smug."

"The Islamofascists thank you."

Oh, I admit my actions are petulant but actually, recycling does not always make economic sense. When the trash-hauling companies cannot make a profit by sending the cans over to the smelters, do you know what they do?

Dump them with the rest of the trash. Why not economical? Because there is too much supply, so price has fallen.

I do not ask anyone to follow me. So my impact on the "environment" is small. But I am trying to make a point when I do it -- that when a liberal cringes because I put a beer can in the trash, I tell him that I have 10 far higher moral priorities on my list. That usually gets us into a discussion about abortion, Terry Schiavo, etc.

30 posted on 09/20/2006 4:24:04 PM PDT by tom h
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Knitting A Conundrum

And one high water year, the old river control where the Missisippi and Atchafayala rivers touch, will give way, and a whole lot more of the Missisippi will go down the Atchafayala. And that will be a real mess.

Amen

This is exactly what will happen, Man will be powerless against Mother Nature.


31 posted on 09/21/2006 8:11:21 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Drill ANWR, Personal Accounts NOW.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Szent_Adam_Kiraly

"conservatives do it to be frugal and conserve, while libs do it to be sanctimonious and smug."

That is so funny; I love it! Do you mind if I borrow it? It is the kind of statement that makes my liberal relatives go crazy. It is so illogical that they can't respond, so they just get mad.



32 posted on 09/23/2006 3:32:07 PM PDT by ga medic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Bring shipping in through Lake Pontchartrain and cut a canal through to the Mississippi west of Spillway Levee. You can also put your container stuff up there and get it out of the downtown area. Then put up the flood control systems at the entrance to Pontchartrain that the enviro weenies killed back 30 years ago. That would have solved the surge that contributed to the levee collapse (notice, not "caused," just "contributed").

Then turn everything from New Orleans south on the Mississippi into a managed wetlands, allowing for the grandfathered residents.
33 posted on 09/23/2006 3:45:47 PM PDT by Phsstpok (Often wrong, but never in doubt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DustyMoment

It's in 1 of it's natural beds, the problem is they've been trying to keep it there while it wants to go spend a weekend (or a millennium) at one of its other places.


34 posted on 01/22/2007 12:48:42 PM PST by martinb714
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Phsstpok

"Then turn everything from New Orleans south on the Mississippi into a managed wetlands, allowing for the grandfathered residents."

Lake Ponchartrain probably wouldn't be deep enough but the rest of your post sounds good to me.


35 posted on 01/22/2007 1:07:23 PM PST by martinb714
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: martinb714
It's in 1 of it's natural beds

Yes, I know, but the operative term here, as you know, is "1 of its natural beds". I'm not an expert on the Mississippi by any stretch of the imagination, but I have read that long before the Corps of Engineers started forcing the river to follow its current course, it would occasionally re-direct itself to flow through Lafayette or Lake Charles or somplace like that. Considering that the lower part of the La. peninsula is slowly being consumed by the Gulf of Mexico (according to a recent article), it begs the question of whether or not it is worth the time and money to maintain the existing levy system for the river AND to rebuild New Orleans.

Both of those things have romantic, sentimental and historical symbolism but, from a practicality standpoint, they don't make a lot of sense.

36 posted on 01/22/2007 1:22:44 PM PST by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson