GeoEngineers Principal Engineer David Eley, PE is co-presenting this week at the ASCE International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure with Russ Joffrion, PE of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). Their presentation, “Working with the Mississippi River for Sustainable Storm Protection,” discusses the causes contributing to the loss of land along the Louisiana coastline, the economic challenges it presents and Louisiana’s 50-year master plan for coastal restoration through sustainable infrastructure.
The Louisiana coast is losing land at an alarming rate. This land loss has resulted in greater damage to infrastructure near the coast, as land and marsh that historically buffered this infrastructure disappears. Infrastructure in Louisiana is critical to the United States for shipping along the Mississippi River, and for oil and gas production and import/export. Land loss in Louisiana is the result of years of well-intentioned, but unsustainable, practices. Louisiana is in the initial stages of a 50-year plan (Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, 2012) to build resilient infrastructure that will work with the natural delta and coastal processes to provide long-term, sustainable coastal protection for the State. Given the projected annualized cost of doing nothing, Louisiana can’t afford not to implement the Plan.