Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wetlands Coverup

Meraux / Jean Lafitte Wetlands Photos

Photos of wetlands on the Meraux/Jean Lafitte site in western Chalmette.  According to neighbors adjacent to these properties, the photos clearly show the wetlands in their "original" state, fully inhabited by beautiful wildlife.

 Then there are the photos of the wetlands coverup, literally.  Neighbors photographed and describe what they witnessed as the destruction of wetlands and coverup with sand of any indigenous fauna and flora of the wetlands on that tract of land.  The photos depict that same wetland area after it was "intentionally" bulldozed to "intentionally" rid this property of any wetland evidence, according to residents.  After the property was "intentionally bulldozed," evidence of the wetlands "fought" to come back in the form of the green vegetation, and then neighbors witnessed someone came back to this property and "intentionally" sprayed dangerous chemicals to make sure they would kill any vegetation evidence of wetlands, according to witnesses.  There are photos of the property clearly depicting the areas that were sprayed with chemicals.

At what point was the tract of land surveyed for information for the Corps of Engineers wetland determination, study or mitigation decision?

UPDATE:    A representative of the Army Corps of Engineers addressed the local council on March 1, 2011 and explained the Meraux Foundation requested a determination of the entire tract of land in 2003.  It was determined that parts of the tract were wetlands, while other parts were not.  According to the representative, subsequently in 2008, the Louisiana Office of Community Development submitted a land use request to the Corps for the above photographed site.  The representative attempted to explain the site polt submitted by the LA OCD was some how inadvertently identified as another portion of the land tract and therefore mistakenly not properly identified as wetlands.  The developers are expected to submit an application after the fact and the Army Corps will access whether or not the application will be approved or denied.

The Army Corps recently marked an area of the site with flagged stakes and issued a cease and desist on just the area marked with stakes.  The photographer of the above sites informed the council that the area marked with flagged stakes is not the same area of wetlands in the photographs.  Additionally, this resident reported that the developer moved equipment off of the marked and flagged area only to move the equipment back again.  According to the same resident, the flagged stakes were then removed.

Area map


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