Louisiana state and top scientists are actively brainstorming how they will stop the oil from destroying Barataria Bay, a huge estuary and major fishery in the southeastern part of Louisiana.
Now officials are aggressively trying to carry out a plan they created two months ago to save the fragile ecosystems along the Louisiana coastline. The plan they are pushing for is to construct rock dikes across the many large tidal inlets between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico to first stop and block and then capture and retain the oil. The project costs roughly $30 million and requires 100,000 tons of rock of which, BP has agreed to pay. The plan is supported by the Louisiana government, however the other day in a well researched uproar, scientists and many independent experts on coastal wetlands, together with the Army Corps of Engineers rejected and denied a permit for the project.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have added that they reject the plan because the rock will destroy the barrier islands during the stormy season rendering the rock protection from oil useless. The scientists insist the rock plan is wrong because of environmental concerns about the potential problem of the rock barriers to create large scale, and long term erosion and the breaching of Barataria Bay’s existing barrier islands.
While the governor will keep pressing for the rock barrier, experts from the Pontchartrain Institute hope to look for other ways to stop the oil from getting into the marshes explaining that laying rock across passes is not the only option.
The Federal Government and coastal science community must work in harmony together now more than ever to stop the spill from destroying our nations delicate Louisiana coast. Why is it that so much debating has to take place before real solutions are carried out? As the oil continues to creep along our shorelines, we need to be actively engaged in lasting solutions.
What is your opinion? Do you think that this task of trying to stop the oil from reaching Barataria Bay with rock walls is doable? Or do we need to be actively considering other immediate alternatives? In this case how do you see environmental science and environmental policies harmonizing, and problem solving for the greatest good of all concerned in the Louisiana region?