Wetlands Restoration: 


1.  An Eco – Infrastructure project to save the Missisippi River Delta, the marshes and swamps, backwaters and bayous of Louisana.

2.  A Socio Economic Regional Redevelopment project to enable, enfranchise, engage the disparate but similarly disenfranchised poor and subsistence level inhabitants of Southern Louisiana, in particular, those of New Orleans Parish.

Wetlands Restoration:

3. A decades long project to buttress, protect, incubate, seed, build up, analyze, monitor, morph, and modify a wetlands restoration project dynamically – addressing the incontrovertible truth, that wetlands are inherently dynamic, ever changing environments we can only partially understand in stasis much rather in natural flux. This is the only methodology that will ensure best intentions result in best results, and not an unforeseen eco disaster as so many of mankinds efforts to interfere with nature result in.

4. A decades long project to economically supercharge a regional economy from the bottom up, applying the most basic technologies and skills currently available to create then deploy basic building blocks for wetlands restoration in mass quantities, rather than a reliance on mega – machinery creating a single point of failure “solutions”, and allowing mass human participation, which will better be able to recognize, react and adapt the progressing work to the environment, which will pump capital into the local economy from the paychecks of tens of thousands as they expend their pay locally for housing, food, fuel, entertainment, merchandise which in turn will fund supporting service industries which together will increase the tax base providing for improved schools and infrastructure, in turn creating more desirable communities, which in turn can focus on attracting other major businesses.



Save Our Swamps


Sorry, couldn't resist it.


It took 50 years of man's best efforts to destroy our coastal wetlands, none more so than in Louisiana.


The small attempts to rebuild barrier islands and replant swamps are too little, too late, and too expensive for what they save.


If we were willing to blow the levees from New Orleans to the sea, the marshes might get the silt, nourishment and fresh water needed to thrive and nature could rebuild the rest of the wetlands.


However, we won't, indeed we can't. 


Among the problems with truly restoring the origional eco-system of the delta, are that the oyster farms, shipping, oil and gas wells, fishing, hunting, and finally, lets not forget people live in the delta.


We have no recourse except to be as intrusive and industrial with our efforts to stabilize and rebuild the wetlands as we were in their destruction.


Lines of these grounded and scuttled barges would retain silt and fresh water on the landward side, trap debris and soil ripped up by surges before it's carried back out to sea, as well as slow the buildup of storm surges against the levees of New Orleans and other parishes.


Even when overwhelmed by surges, some plantings would remain as nurse plantings and allow the wetlands to spring back faster.


The technology is one common on the coast, barges and dredging.  Costs for these techniques are about as low as one could wish for.


The barges would be concrete.  For strength they can be reinforced with chopped fiber and pre / post tensioned cables that are ripped out after grounding and recycled.  They are easily "bio degradable" over the millenia.  Indeed, they'll sink, from their own weight and the weight of bio-mass as trees and plants grow over them. 


In the fullness of time there will be line of hummucks in place of the barges.


The fresh water flow can be minimized to save the cost of the diversion structures, and their operation, and to keep current economic uses of the marshes stable.  


Trees, plants, and wildlife will more easily survive salt water intrusions from storm surges and fresh water flooding.


Economic and Societal Benefits:


Many firms, large and small could participate.  Many peoples of all income and social groups could be employed at this work. The decades long project will provide steady jobs, money, and be a stabilizing effect on communities. 


A new technology could be born and sold to other coastal communities across America and the world.


The Federal Government and Energy Industry monies needed to pay for it could be spread out over the decades the project would take, easing the "pain" to each group.


There's no doubt "smaller" ways to do this. 


Pump in river mud all along 20 mile pipelines, though, dredging channels for the barges and cranes to put in, then take out, the pipe is problematic, hmm, concrete pipe, and just leave it? 


Lighweight conc. planters with plants alread in them. 


Hire 10,000 unemployed to walk abreast planting trees, reeds, etc. with another 10,000 shuttling barges and boats of river mud to fill all the channels that have decimated the swamps.


There are a million ways.  This though, with a way for big industry to get a big piece of the action, for politicos to show the masses that they can get them jobs, etc., I would  I think this idea at least has enlightened greed going for it.


Save Our Society

I allude to what this idea could do for the social fabric of the area in the sidebar.

I can't really say enough about that.

The swamps are precious


People are so much more precious

Louisiana has certainly had a hard time caring for it's peoples, resulting in horribly entrenched social problems.

This idea is based on really low, low level work easily accessible to anyone willing to work, and no doubt those lets say, less than willing, via mandates in social programs.  As such, it has the potential for huge numbers of disenfranchised peoples and providing them with stable work and income.  While no sure cure, if carefully supported by civic and government agencies, stable jobs and income could provide the springboard for a new generation to escape the traps of the past.

At the same time there is work that will require years of experience, college and experiential to husband the eco-systems of the barges.  First establishing them prior to positioning and afterward.  There will also need to be constant and widespread monitoring of the surrounding areas for negative impacts from barge placement, and mitigating those issues.

While all the work could be accomplished by heavy industry, as much as desired could be reserved for small enterprise.

Building the barges can  be quite simple, done in any ship yard, or section of shorline / levy that would support launching it.  Many could be kept for years while the plantings fully develop, allowing their placement in more extreme areas.  These could fill the channels between sections of New Orleans, lashed to piles to keep them from moving during storms.  Their mass and coverage of the channels would dampen wave action during storms and from passing ships, which constantly erode the shorelines.  Caring for the plantings would provide steady day jobs for thousands in the poorest areas of the city, and need I say it, provide an exceptional tourist draw, the floating gardens of New Orleans anyone?

Dredging barge channels in the swamps is a generations old buisness thanks to oil and gas exploration, with well established firms and workers who would no doubt appreciate the endless work.

Small boat owners would be needed to ferry workers all along the barge lines, to care for plantings, monitor and mitigate problems.

The secondary support to barge building, postioning and care would be endless.  In a city that worships food, you can imagine just the number of small eateries of all sorts with many thousands of workers, their suppliers, the trash haulers, bank tellers, and on and on.  Then there are concrete suppliers, soils, plants, nursery suppliers, trucks, equipment, spare parts, repair, fueling, shippers, materials terminals, docks for support ships of all sizes.

Another plus of a "hard" solution like this.  Oyster beds.  Hundreds of thousands of acres of oyster beds worth hundreds of millions a year depend on LIMITED fresh water flows.  Full natural restoration relies on UNLIMITED fresh water, muddy fresh water.  Without that unlimited muddy fresh water, every natural restoration plan is doomed.  With fresh muddy water the oyster beds are doomed.  With lines of barges slowing fresh water flow, increasing sedimentation along the way, getting maximum "use" of the fresh water for as long as possible for all the marsh life along it's path, the muddy fresh water flow will never need to be what nature intended.  This also reduces the number extremely expensive river diversions needed, freeing up the money for other projects.

Yes, I hate it that mankind has to so totally take over natural processes.  However, unless we cut the population by at least 50% and drive it down from there, unless we are willing to throw out of work thousands that rely on the CURRENT ECO SYSTEM we don't have a choice really.  We need resources, and that always means beating up nature.  This seems to be the mean course, allowing continued exploitation, allowing restoration of the coastal enviornment, protecting built up areas, while providing jobs, money and meaningful lives for tens of thousands, restoring the societal fabric of the coast.



What will stop this, a deadly combination of good and evil.  Evil people who won't want to spend the money will use the misguided ecological concerns of the good to stall until there is nothing left to save. 

The good, will bemoan any possible damage to the already wrecked eco-systems along the coasts.  The evil will not only use them, but provide money for their organizations and attorneys to stop any work.

What could defeat this combination.  All the gulf states sending a rotating cadre of 24 x 7 protestors in front of the Whitehouse and Congress.  That could take years.  Have all the school children mail dead oyster shells to the President and the Congress.  Unlikely to work, but it would be interesting at least to see if they'd be properly recycled, or just landfilled by the Feds.