The entire report can be read here.
The group Environmental Defense released a report urging Congress to take certain steps to control MRGO, called “Mr. Go.” It claims the channel costs taxpayers $11.8 million a year to maintain and degrades wetlands and cypress forests.
The report comes 10 days before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to present Congress with a plan to close MRGO to oceangoing ships, if not all water traffic.
“The community has been calling for the closure of MRGO for decades,” said Paul Harrison, coastal Louisiana project manager for Environmental Defense. “The next step is Congress’ part.”
Congress has directed $3.3 million to the corps to develop a closure plan. Also, the most recent congressional supplemental funding bill included $75 million for closure.Among the report’s recommendations are:
- Stop wetlands-killing saltwater intrusion by closing a hole cut through the Bayou la Loutre ridge by MRGO construction.
- Build a vegetated buffer in front of the MRGO levee to disperse 95 percent of wave energy.
- Reintroduce freshwater, sediment and nutrients to re-grow the central wetlands, cypress forests and Lake Borgne wetlands while pushing back saltwater.
- Build four constrictions across MRGO to encourage the rest of the channel to fill in naturally and reduce the tendency of the channel to carry storm surge inland.