Nov 22, 2013|
The St. Bernard Parish Council passed the ordinance banning construction of river diversions. They did this to get lawmakers to hear the concerns of their community. Should river diversions be used to rebuild Louisiana's sinking coastal wetlands? Don was joined by Jerome Zeringue, CPRA ( Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority) Executive Director.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well welcome back into the think tank saint Bernard parish council has passed an ordinance -- construction of the -- diversions also expansion of many that already exist and this would put them out in opposition to. On the requirements of the master plan to restore the coast. George cabinet joined us from the Saint Bernard council he was the author of the ordinance he said the reaction from his legislature has been as expected. That he will bring this up in opposition in them that would be the way to. Make changes are fully realizing man the parish ordinance cannot supersede. The State's master -- joining us to give the states' side of this is to Rome's a rang his executive director. Of the coastal protection and restoration authority -- thanks for being with us this afternoon we appreciate. Think it's good afternoon you don't tell me what is your initial reaction to Saint Bernard side ordinance I'm sure you can't be totally surprised by the news. No -- I mean we fully appreciate and understand some of the issues and concerns that. They're trying to address with this. Proposal put the reality is I think. We need to continue to work together and address those issues and concerns and we just recently working with think the -- in the quarter engineers implemented billions of dollars of correcting protection stopped -- restoration and protection we do as well. And we have millions of dollars in restoration projects that we are currently constructing. And that's all part of the -- the unfortunate reality is. By limiting or essentially saying you know they don't want this particular type of project in the region. All the projects within the master plan. A work together it's -- integrated approach in terms of these projects working again that you can't just simply to every pick one aspect of one component. The plan was devised and developed. Utilizing terrorist planes utilizing existing efforts -- went fifteen other efforts. To evaluate opportunities in previous research and projects. To address the issues of coastal analysts and wheezing and and so all these projects work together. And believe -- there anymore projects that we can do but the plan is essentially fiscally constrained there's only so much in terms of dollars. We had unlimited dollars we could do all the different things. Before suggesting by it is limited in the goal is to achieve a sustainable coast -- sustainable communities and coastal Louisiana. Sold worst case scenario for the future of the master plan would be let's say. That the representatives. -- -- fellow is successful in convincing legislate tours that the master plans call for massive French water diversions. Is a bad thing in the east to be revisited modified and re worked. How long could that hold up the implementation of the plan and end with the other parts of the state too as well as what's going on in Saint Bernard. Well I don't think it would go to the holder of the plane itself was because they were other projects. Are outside diversion. Keep in mind. Those who were anti -- Refer to the fact that we should be -- -- Over to third. The dollar. That we allocated. For restoration or specific to diversions so we are doing a significant amount -- a approximately twenty billion of the 25 billion allocating to restoration restricting so with that issue. Of one of the other. The reality is dredging alone is not going to create sustainable coast. We build weapons we. Don't understand it hundreds of great concern by temple -- Armitage were building weapons we know the cost. It's expensive we cannot -- our way out of this problem. Act that Vick and under and completely understand that some had issues and concerns with that but no one can refute the fact that this whole deal that this. That habit that that the he's -- enough to pencil was built. By the river essentially flooding its banks in creating Nextel open and simply this is just our ability to both utilize dredging but also have those two versions. That are sustainable continued to build an angle to the -- -- do you have a quantitative. Estimate of the reduction of shellfish in fin fish that the diversions as planned on the master plan. Would have because I think if the people who are opposed to those diversions as. Present and under the plan was satisfied that it would not adversely -- to a great degree. I think that probably would do you feel a little bit more confident about going ahead with a planned. Well the reality is done these trees. Bullet trains in most of the recreational sports entries and commercial -- other -- oysters oysters and sedentary we recognize that we admit. There are going to be issues and going to have to be ships but the reality is the same -- -- of the leases. That there are -- right now are continuing to encroach further and further in the and in their -- places with no reports that. Pick -- hundred years ago so. There or going to be ships and that's why there's still going to be playing time that we're not gonna open -- -- in the in the reverend -- port mortem within the next 23 years the reality is there is -- process. That we're going to go in terms of both permanent and scientific analysis that look at. Impacts to officially we have time and in fact we are engaging in seven million dollar independent science panel. Commissioned by the award institute to look at the effect of these projects and work with the locals and fruit trees to address these issues and concerns and so. Through the permitting process alone with an apple look at impact until we have time to address these issues. And I know others will talk about well we -- -- to -- they don't work but burglar goes we have. Many wore besides besides. Studies and other issues in and research to support. The fact that diversions all the way to go if you go back to efforts even the early 1970s who you know -- was recognized by many scientists that. The river is the key to reestablishing. In addressing this issue postal handle. And so it's not a new concept and so were we going to do that as we develop these projects in design also point to look at. Fisheries impacts and now social impact that all the other -- as we go to the both the regulatory design process to address these issues and concerns and we. Hopefully prepared. Inning gauged in doing. Let me bring joy drinks and he is -- -- say Louisiana coalition Georgia are you feeling better after hearing. -- talk about this cautious approach to bringing in the fresh water diversion. Not at all and I haven't heard -- dot. -- enjoy the Giant Eagle and over again. That does does the withdrawal was too much. Is about the project and -- mansion and dental project -- -- -- our Portland on the divergence. Oh lead golden -- -- planet in in inject about -- -- children -- -- their backs against the wall. The big of people and you rely on commercial recreational fishing industries cardiac output -- pretty -- economy. Protect structures it declared that this -- goes under they realized. Now what mr. George about but the real Palestinians -- And and and -- the study that there can be dominant entrenched. It's actually like to caught it before all that it should be done -- pristine sugar dumped the social economics I and officially started as an effective difference. And again it was not directly is that only 20% at Charlotte gets passed over all. Unless Jerome go ahead. On real world just a couple things that mr. Rick you know go to respectable about the project speak because we it. Incident of dollars and restoration project in the -- the repairs in addition to be reestablished and and buildings and a wetlands as well hundreds of -- of weapons but reports of that. The science you have to begin in terms of addressing the issues and concerns or as we develop the project as such force that his reasons other issues that. That they are concerned about there was a process to address and looked into those effects and the reality. There is. Going to be in addition to the scientific analysis and that's going to be engaged and there's going to be opportunities for public input the home I have to -- in space to. Stakeholder engagement in the important it will be opportunities. For. People to participate in this process. -- -- given. The the money that is stalling economy in the coastal master plan's deadline when could we expect to see. News of the diversion process get under -- and probably always amazes how much time the they have to do some of these social impact studies. What they're doing them right now in fact or just. Did get a steady and he indicated that. There is the the potential of that commercial -- could lose 13 of their income trap of the trappers lose one half of their income by 2045. Without also. Aggressive actions or addressing this issue. The habitat that's huge reason everything depends so we're constantly losing in this is an opportunity to rebuild and reestablish that so. Debate that -- trees or born to be impacted if we did not think the impact but the reality is these. Projects or intended to help sustain it reestablish the habitat that the -- we used to pay and so on and so. There will be -- economic impact studies it is going to be history. The resource studies as port of the process so there it is going to be extensive research and analysis as we move forward in developing these. -- in addition to the other project we have as well. Roma come up against the clock Cuba before you go -- you in communication with the lack of his parish is a similar ordinance plan to be introduced at at their counsel. I'm actually able -- if they or they haven't indicated to look but even if they elect even welcome to -- folks and we covered in the state have. You know -- we look for them to bring their sides bring their plans -- looked at the planes even in development of the master plan and we incorporated. Portions of plaque and play important -- they've been terrible all the other is the reality is for all the projects that we incorporated in the play and that they've provided. There or pages of others at every -- would like to include but again as I indicated to the plane is fiscally constrained we had more resources in dollars we -- doable project. But the project that we do or intended to create a sustainable growth and sustainable community. Well funding. Availability is another long story for another day. The wrong -- had taken some time to talk was on this issue we appreciate you don't yell out happy Thanksgiving the same the.