Saturday, January 22, 2011

Public Meeting Update

Parish Officials urge the COE back to the drawing board for freshwater diversion as posted by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch in the Times-Picayune article, "St. Bernard residents oppose diversion channel in MR-GO restoration plan"

MRGO Restoration  update posted in Delta Dispatches by Amanda Moore

Recommendations by  the MRGO Must Go Coalition

Two more public meetings are planned in Waveland, Ms. on January 25 and New Orleans, La. on February 3, and the official comment period ends on February 14.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Public Meeting and Public Comment Opportunity



For Immediate Release:
Contact: Rachel Rodi

Draft MRGO ecosystem restoration plan available for public review

Public meeting in Chalmette on January 20; public comment period open

NEW ORLEANS, LA –The Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Feasibility Study report describing the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Ecosystem Restoration plan is available for 45-day public review.

The report, prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District and partners, outlines the recommended plan for restoring coastal wetlands affected by the MRGO shipping channel.

“The report describes the draft plan for construction of a variety of coastal restoration features,” says Gregory Miller, Chief of the Plan Formulation Office. “If implemented as proposed, these features would restore vital coastal wetlands, and historic fish and wildlife habitats in estuaries east of the Mississippi River. The plan includes coastal restoration projects in St. Bernard Parish, Orleans Parish, and St. Tammany Parish.”

The recommended MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Plan would benefit the Central Wetlands, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi Sound, and the Biloxi Marsh in St. Bernard Parish. Features outlined in the plan include creating marsh using dredges, planting cypress trees and other swamp and wetland vegetation, protecting shorelines with breakwaters, creating oyster reefs, and diverting freshwater from the Mississippi River near the community of Violet, LA to reduce salinity and enhance wetlands and fishery productivity.

The plan also includes proposed public access recreation features in Shell Beach, Meraux and the Lower 9th Ward. The coastal restoration plan is a follow-up report to the 2008 deauthorization plan that the Corps implemented to close the MRGO ship channel with a rock barrier at Bayou La Loutre.

During the 45-day public comment period, the Corps will host public meetings to present the recommended plan for construction and to formally gather public comments. The public meetings are scheduled for:

· Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
C.F. Rowley School, 49 Madison Avenue, Chalmette, LA 70043
Open house 6 to 6:30. Presentation and discussion 6:30

· Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011
Leo Seal Community Center, 529 Highway 90, Waveland, MS 39576
Open house 6 to 6:30. Presentation and discussion 6:30

The report and other documents are available for review and download at  or by request. Questions or comments concerning the MRGO Ecosystem Restoration project should be addressed to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  c/o Public Affairs, PO Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267
Phone: 504-862-2201   Fax: 504-862-1724    E-mail:


No More Channel Cutting

Public Meeting 

Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. at C.F. Rowley Alternative School, 49 Madison Ave., Chalmette

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to cut yet another channel through the middle of St. Bernard Parish.  Other options, including the existing Violet Canal, do not require channel cutting to provide more freshwater diversions from the Mississippi River to the central wetlands. The Corp's proposed new channel is not a wetlands restoration project.

As quoted in the Times Picayune article:     "The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation also favors using the existing Violet Canal, if possible, and has serious concerns about the Lake Borgne sediment borrow pit plan, said spokesman John Lopez."


Saturday, January 8, 2011

neighborhood initiatives


As recent guest speaker at a Heart of Chalmette Neighborhood Association meeting, Ms. Polly Campbell spoke about Neighborhood Initiatives' upcoming events which include beautification, tree planting and cleanup projects. Residents can also participate in leadership training, gardening seminars and community planning meetings. Grant funding is available for neighborhood based projects and grantees need not be a 501 (c) 3 to participate.  Funds are disbursed as reimbursements.

Neighborhood Initiatives is a community based information and support resource for neighborhood revitalization efforts. Beginning with curb appeal to draw more homeowners back to the community, focus is centered on preserving the integrity of our residential neighborhoods. Volunteers can assist with an array of projects which at times includes working with visiting volunteer groups.

One of this year's projects will replace several more live oak trees which were lost over the years due to various reasons, including the storms of 2005.  Joey Englert and Howard Luna, both members of St. Bernard Parish Government's Parks and Parkways Commission, will coordinate this tree planting and tree watering project.  All are invited to participate.

Originally planted by the Laurent and the Lagarde families, the live oak trees which grace St. Bernard Parish's major thoroughfare provide shade for our community's family orientated parade routes.  Last year, generous donations to Rediscover District C's Adopt A Tree program provided funding to replace over two dozen live oak trees. This year's funding through a Neighborhood Initiatives grant to Parks and Parkways will allow the program to continue from Arabi to Violet, planting over 120 trees.

Polly Campbell is the Director of Neighborhood Initiatives for the St. Bernard Parish Community Foundation, a part of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Ms. Campbell is the former Councilwoman at Large East, former Council Clerk and the current president of the Lexington Place Civic Corporation.

Howard Luna is a member of the St. Bernard Parish Govenment's Parks and Parkways Commission, the founding President of Rediscover District C and a Justice of the Peace for Ward G.

Joey Englert is also a member of the Government's Parks and Parkways Commission, and serves as President of the St. Bernard Sportsman's League and a Board Member of Rediscover District C.

Contact information is available on the St. Bernard Parish Government website.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

land of calcium carbonate

Ballparks, roadways, you name it.  If it's being reconstructed it just may use the solid waste from the nearby sugar refinery: calcium carbonate.  Usually piled high near the Arabi factory with a heavy equipment truck on top, the calcuim carbonate mounds make New Orleans' monkey hill look minature.  Recent projects have used the solid waste product to line ballparks and roadways and even patch driveways after water works repair.



What will they think of next?

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