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Posted 09.09.10 | PERMALINK | ESSAY

Elizabeth Mossop and Jeffrey Carney: In the Mississippi Delta: Building with Water



COASTAL SUSTAINABILITY STUDIO

Mississippi Delta. Click image to enlarge.

With its ability to carry and deposit rich sediment, the Mississippi River has for centuries built up and maintained the fertile land of the Delta. The progressive re-engineering of the river and the delta in the past three centuries — much of it under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — has produced significant regional and national benefits, serving especially the shipping and petrochemical industries. But we know that these economic benefits have been purchased at enormous environmental costs, and that the sustainability of the gulf ecosystem is threatened. The devastation wrought by successive hurricanes — Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav — and the explosion this summer of the offshore Deepwater Horizon and the catastrophic oil spill that followed, have heightened awareness that the region faces a perilous future. The Coastal Sustainability Studio is focused on exploring solutions that match in boldness and scale the gravity of the problem: restoring the power of the Mississippi River.

Image credit: Coastal Sustainability Studio

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