Featured in nola.com
Aboard a tall-masted sailing ship in the Mississippi River in New Orleans, The Water Institute of the Gulf celebrated its fifth anniversary as a think tank with a discussion by Louisiana and Dutch scientists about the future of coastal restoration. The conversation came Wednesday (March 29) as the Louisiana Legislature prepares to vote on the 2017 update of of the state’s master plan for coastal restoration and protection, which Water Institute scientists helped develop.
The Baton Rouge-based institute has served as a research arm of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority since its inception in 2010. Its work has included leading a complex modeling program that is being used to design the proposed Mid-Barataria sediment diversion, which would be located near Myrtle Grove on the west bank of Plaquemines Parish.
It’s been assisted by Deltares, a much larger water think tank based in the Netherlands, in developing a suite of complex models used to predict the flow of sediment and water and nutrients through the diversion into open water and wetlands in Barataria Bay. Those models also predict the diversion’s effects on wetland plant growth and the availability of key fishery species, including oysters and shrimp.