For Immediate Release: June 11, 2008
Contact: Chris Macaluso
Bonnet Carre' Spillway Workshop set for June 13 in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Governor's Office of Coastal Activities and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources will jointly host a group of hydrologists, ecologists and other scientists and researchers from both Louisiana and Mississippi to discuss monitoring efforts related to the recent opening of the Bonnet Carre' Spillway this spring at a day-long workshop Friday, June 13 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Galvez Building located at 602 North 5th Street.
In response to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on April 11, 2008, state and federal agencies and other organizations from Louisiana and Mississippi have been collecting data to monitor the extent and effects of the spillway opening. Representatives from GOCA, Louisiana Departments of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Fisheries and Environmental Quality, as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Geological Survey, will discuss ongoing data collection and monitoring efforts related to the spillway opening and coordination of future events.
The information presented and discussed will be used to improve the understanding of freshwater and sediment diversions on a macro-scale.
"The state of Louisiana knows the best way to be successful with coastal restoration projects in the eastern and central parts of the state is to put the Mississippi River back to work depositing sediment and feeding marshes with nutrients," said CPRA Chairman Garret Graves. "This is a rare opportunity to study a large scale diversion of freshwater out of the river and into a coastal estuary which is what the state's Master Plan for Coastal Restoration and Hurricane Protection calls for."
The Bonnet Carre' Spillway is a flood control device located in St. Charles Parish, about 30 miles north of New Orleans that is used to divert flood waters in the Mississippi River away from the city and into Lake Pontchartrain's west end.
The spillway was opened on April 11 of this year and closed completely on May 8 once the flooding threat had passed. The Army Corps of Engineers opened 160 of the 350 bays of the spillway at the peak of the flooding, allowing as much as 160,000 cfs of Mississippi River water to flow in Lake Pontchartrain. Before this April, the spillway was last opened in the spring of 1997.
For more information, please contact Chris Macaluso in the Louisiana Governor's Office of Coastal Activities at 225-342-3968 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's mandate is to develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration master plan. For the first time in Louisiana's history, this single state authority will integrate coastal restoration and hurricane protection by marshalling the expertise and resources of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development, and other state agencies, to speak with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana's coast. Working with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, the CPRA will work to establish a safe and sustainable coast that will protect our communities, the nation's critical energy infrastructure, and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come. The CPRA of Louisiana was established by Act 8 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2005