The Maurepas swamp is one of the largest forested wetlands in the nation, but it is in a state of rapid decline. We have a major opportunity to show the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers its importance and we need your voice!
The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project stands to maintain wildlife habitat unique to Louisiana and increase storm surge protection for the Greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge regions by reconnecting it to freshwater, nutrients and sediment. However, the Corps recently left plans to restore part of the forest’s habitat out of its project proposal for a nearby levee.Without the Corps’ help, more money will have to be found at the expense of other critical coastal restoration projects that protect important habitat and communities.
Defend these vital wetlands and tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide funds to construct the River Reintroduction to Maurepas Swamp project. Act now and help protect over 45,000 acres of vital swamp habitat in Louisiana!
RE: BBA CONSTRUCTION MITIGATION EA #576
Dear U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
I am writing as a coastal resident who understands the great need for urgent action and innovative approaches to restore our coastal wetlands and protect our communities. I was very disappointed to not see the proposed Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project included as a mitigation option for the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee project (WSLP). I believe that this is not only the best, but the only option for properly restoring bottomland hardwood and swamp habitat that will be lost through the construction of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee. The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp is a widely supported project that will benefit over 45,000 acres of swamp that are currently in a state of rapid decline. The project will aid the prevention of further wetland loss and the conversion of swamps to marshes, as well as helping to offset future increases in salinity throughout the western Pontchartrain Basin due to subsidence and sea level rise. The fine grain sediment may also help increase elevation to a point where there are periods without inundation so that seeds can germinate, perpetuating the forest into the future. The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project will be constructed adjacent to the Army Corps' West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee project. Land built by this diversion will mitigate land lost through the construction of WSLP without using all the mitigation bank credits in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. This will help other Army Corps stakeholders who need to purchase bank credits. CPRA and the Army Corps will also have cost savings and efficiencies by doing the projects in tandem. Additionally, Army Corps investment in this restoration project will free up precious restoration dollars so that CPRA can move forward on other critical restoration projects across the coast. The Army Corps should also consider that the Maurepas diversion will rebuild swamp and bottomland hardwood habitat, which will protect the WSLP and decrease maintenance needs of the levee over time. This is a multiple lines of defense approach and a win-win solution!Additionally, the Maurepas diversion will work with other nearby diversions to protect many communities in the region, including Baton Rouge. These projects will help maintain the Manchac Landbridge, a narrow strip of land between Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas. If these two lakes merge it would be devastating and could send storm surge into communities in the River Parishes all the way into the Greater Baton Rouge area. Protection of this landbridge is critical for protecting WSLP as well as the other BBA18 projects.I believe it is a common sense, win-win solution to use the River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project as mitigation for this massive levee project adjacent to the swamp. Choosing to use the Maurepas Diversion as mitigation for WSLP is just the type of innovative solution we need to restore our coast and protect communities in the face of a dire land loss situation. The Army Corps should not pass up this major opportunity.
I believe it is a common sense, win-win solution to use the River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project as mitigation for this massive levee project adjacent to the swamp. Choosing to use the Maurepas Diversion as mitigation for WSLP is just the type of innovative solution we need to restore our coast and protect communities in the face of a dire land loss situation. The Army Corps should not pass up this major opportunity.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]