Dolphins in La. Bayou Keep Dying. Reconstruction Plan May Make It Worse

"Freshwater diversion projects that have divided environmental advocates are intended to save the coast but may imperil dolphins."

"Barataria Bay is a marshy jewel in the heart of the vast Louisiana bayou. Its unparalleled natural ecosystem was once a hideout for smugglers and malcontents like Jean Lafitte, who ruled the labyrinth of marshlands and estuaries. By the early 20th century, oil and gas had taken over the marshlands, and levees reined in the mighty Mississippi River and redirected it toward the Gulf of Mexico.  

Now, pipelines and canals crisscross the bayou, but the 15-mile Barataria Bay that runs along the Mississippi River remains one of America’s richest fishing grounds, with an abundant assortment of shrimp, crab, oysters and commercial seafood that’s a big part of the state’s $2.4 billion fishing industry today.

As the fisheries expanded, Mississippi River levees constructed in the early 1900s stemmed the flow of natural land-building river sediment into the bay. The levees, along with oil development and sea-level rise due to climate change, contribute to one of the greatest land-loss rates on the planet: Land in Barataria Bay is disappearing under the rising tides at the rate of a football field every 100 minutes."

Rocky Kistner reports for HuffPost June 5, 2020.

Source: HuffPost, 06/10/2020