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:


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