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Rantings of a Restoration Junkie — 6 Comments

  1. It seems to me the biggest problem you face is complexity. We live in a society that prefers its answers fast and simple, and fast and simple isn’t going to cut it here.

    There’s the complexity of the interlocked natural systems themselves: rivers, bayous, estuaries, barrier islands, marshes.

    Add on top of that the complexity of interlocked and sometimes competing interest groups: environmentalists, oil ‘n gas, sport fishermen, commercial shrimpers and fishers, native peoples and developers.

    And always there are the complexities of dealing with (an overblown, obnoxious and uncaring) bureaucracy as interested in its own preservation as it is in the preservations of the wetlands.

    It makes it tough to find the right “next step”. Take Jindal’s sand berms. I know some people who live over there who say “Right on, bro'”, absolutely convinced that’s the right thing to do. Others, who have fished and trapped those swamps for a lifetime are convinced the sand berms will be the death of the wetlands.

    Same thing with the relocation of the Mississippi. I know even less about that proposal, but I know enough to be clear that it also has strong supporters, and strong detractors.

    Seen from the outside, it is really, really hard to know what to do, what actions to support. At this point, even Federal protection seems an iffy proposition. Given the Feds’ track record with regulation, that sometimes sounds like the worst possible solution. (There’s that little crew called the Minerals Management Service, for example. They were – uh – keeping an eye on Deepwater Horizon.)

    And yet, the people who howl, “Let Louisiana take care of it” have no answer for the problems that come to you from upriver.

    There’s not going to be one answer. But maybe one place to start would be to develop a coalition of legislators from states along the Mississippi who are dedicated to the river and her Delta. And of course, there needs to be a way to convince the whole country that this is America’s treasure – not just a freak of Louisiana nature. James Carville dd a pretty good job of explaining that one night on national teevee. Maybe we need Carville to give up politics and devote himself to the wetlands.

    OK. I’ll stop now. But I’ll keep thinking.

  2. This is so similar to the strip mining and the stripping of trees by lumber mills done over the years until someone finally realized it was destroying the land along with all the wildlife & causing severe erosion. It took years to finally get legislation that stopped most of it and required restoration.
    I have a feeling it will take having some one in really high authority having to do without their favorite seafoods to finally get a message across.

  3. Wetlands are being destroyed all over the world — yet of those in the US, Louisiana’s are being lost at a rate much faster than the rest. There has got to be something that is happening elsewhere that isn’t happening here, then, right?

    • Yea, like less rig canals cut through the marshes, less inland drilling, less wave action from boat traffic, no wetland-destroying hurricanes, and they don’t have a “fault” running through them.

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