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.


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »