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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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ABOUT THE ESSAY

In the Mississippi Delta: Building with Water
On Places, Elizabeth Mossop and Jeffrey Carney report on the work of the Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University, which is proposing long-range solutions to the environmental and social challenges of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Carney is studio manager of the Coastal Sustainability Studio and visiting assistant professor of landscape architecture at LSU. He teaches courses in both landscape architecture and architecture.

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Elizabeth Mossop is director of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University.

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