Today's Pic online has a pretty good feature focusing on the fact that high water also brings large amounts of sediments...that unfortunately are floating out to the open Gulf:
More than a billion dollars of coastal restoration projects are on the books, including a slew of river diversions that equate to a wholesale replumbing of the river, but many of them are likely years away from completion due to past financing issues. Instead, river water is cascading into the Bonnet Carre Spillway and Lake Pontchartrain, where blankets of algae leading to fish kills may soon result. Floodwater billowing into the Gulf is expected to have similar effects.
As many in the coastal restoration community say the state has less than a decade to avoid disastrous land loss, the missed opportunity to harness the river's power has broad implications for the coast's future, and puts state and federal agencies under heightened pressure in upcoming years...
The state's master plan for coastal restoration, approved last year, proposes a series of diversions beginning at Donaldsonville and extending to the river's mouth. But the blueprint has not been fully financed. Another long-awaited restoration study from the corps, delayed since last year, is expected by December.
Projects at Violet and Myrtle Grove in St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, along with upriver projects designed to stimulate the Lake Maurepas area, were specifically mentioned in last year's Water Resources Development Act passed by Congress. Although authorized, the appropriations for those projects have not come through.
Just in that bill, authorizations for diversion projects total more than $700 million, and they address only portions of the river system. Next month, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will decide on how to spend $300 million in state surplus money set aside for hurricane protection and coastal restoration projects. Other money will be available through Louisiana's share of offshore oil and gas revenue, and a 1990 bill known as the Breaux Act.
I dunno--maybe we oughta change the name of the river to "Terry Schiavo." Perhaps that would wake up the clowns in Washington.