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Five-year Army Corps study could lead to big changes along mighty Mississippi (video)

February 27, 2024   WVUE New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - From frequent spillway openings a few years ago to drought conditions in 2023, the Mississippi River has been a story of dramatic contrast.


Congress has ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a five-year, $25 million study of the river from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico.


“The purpose of the study is to identify recommendations for the comprehensive management of the region across multiple purposes, including: hurricane and storm damage reduction, flood risk management, structure and nonstructural flood control, floodplain management strategies, navigation, ecosystem and environmental restoration, water supply, hydropower production, recreation, and other purposes as determined by the Secretary of the Army,” according to a statement from the Corps.


One particularly sensitive subject is almost certain to involve flood control management, especially the Bonnet Carre Spillway.


While the spillway prevents catastrophic flooding in New Orleans, it has negative effects on marine life and seafood interests in Lake Pontchartrain and other nearby bodies of water.


Mississippi political and business leaders are among those pushing for the Corps to alter its flood control practices, which could involve wider use of the Morganza Spillway upriver from Baton Rouge.


That would also produce consequences for communities downstream in the Morganza floodway.


This week, the Corps begins hosting a series of public scoping meetings for the Lower Mississippi River Comprehensive Management Study (LMR Comp) at sites throughout the study area.


The Louisiana and coastal Mississippi meeting dates, dates, times and locations are:

•           Bay St. Louis, MS: Hancock County Library (312 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520) Feb. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

•           New Orleans, LA: USACE New Orleans District Headquarters (7400 Leake Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118) Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon and 6 to 8 p.m.

•           Belle Chasse, LA: Belle Chasse Auditorium (8398 LA-23 Belle Chasse, LA 70037) Feb. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

•           Port Allen, LA: West Baton Rouge Conference Center (2750 North Westport Drive, Port Allen , LA 70767) March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

•           Hanhville, LA: Emergency Operations Center (15026 River Road, Hanville, LA 70057) March 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

•           Morgan City, LA: Municipal Auditorium, Morgan City, LA (728 Myrtle St., Morgan City, LA 70380) March 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.


Related Story:

  • VIDEO: Public comment sought Wednesday for study on Mississippi River control

WVUE – New Orleans, LA – 2/26/24