Read: “Restoration of the Mississippi Delta: Lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita”
02 May 2010
The Mississippi Delta is sinking and damaged—one of the most damaged deltas in the world, perhaps. With dikes built along the river banks, and the river prevented from flooding onto the delta, the land alongside the river is sinking, since it’s no longer fed with a supply of sediments from upstream. People also pumped oil and gas and water up from underneath the delta, causing it to sink further.
All this played a big role in what’s made Mississippi vulnerable to hurricanes like Katrina and Rita. But turning things around and restoring the delta will be an enormous task. Reconnecting the river to the deltaic plain is the best bet, this paper argues.
Link to the paper in Science (subscription required)
Read my article “Working with water”, about ways of adapting to rising sea-levels in Louisiana, the Netherlands, and elsewhere—for more on this.