[StBernard] Public comment deadline on $2.9 billion Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet restoration plan extended to Feb. 14

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Jan 19 08:46:44 EST 2011

Public comment deadline on $2.9 billion Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet
restoration plan extended to Feb. 14

Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 11:34 AM Updated: Tuesday, January
18, 2011, 1:02 PM

By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune

The Army Corps of Engineers has extended the public comment period until
Feb. 14 for its draft environmental impact statement and feasibility study
that describes the $2.9 billion plan to restore the Mississippi River-Gulf
Outlet ecosystem.

The restoration plan includes a new freshwater diversion near Violet;
restoration of cypress swamp in wetlands adjacent to the Lower 9th Ward,
Arabi and Chalmette; protection of shorelines along the eastern New Orleans
land bridge; and restoration or nourishment of wetlands along Lake Borgne.

If approved, the project would take 10 years to complete, with construction
beginning as early as 2012. It would restore, nourish or protect about 92
square miles of wetlands and land.

The location of the Violet diversion has garnered the most controversy, with
both environmental groups and St. Bernard Parish leaders objecting to the
corps proposal to build a new channel through the unpopulated Sinclaire
Tract in Meraux, rather than using the existing Violet Canal two miles to
the south.

The corps also has added a third public meeting to its schedule to collect
comments from residents and businesses.

Those meetings are:

Thursday, 6 p.m., at C.F. Rowley School, 49 Madison Ave., Chalmette.

Jan 25, 6 p.m., at Leo Seal Community Center, 529 Highway 90, Waveland,

Feb. 3, 6 p.m., Light City church, 6117 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans.

The meetings will begin with a 30-minute open house, where officials will be
available to describe the plans.

Comments on the draft plan also can be submitted by mail, email or phone by
contacting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District; C/O Tammy
Gilmore, PDR-RS; Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Ecosystem Restoration; P.O.
Box 60267; New Orleans, LA 70160-0267; or by contacting Gilmore at
Tammy.H.Gilmore at usace.army.mil, or 504.862.1002.

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