Good News from American Rivers

At long last, Congress has turned tough talk into action on the notorious Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). After destroying coastal wetlands that could have served as a protective natural buffer during Hurricane Katrina, and acting as a "hurricane highway" that funneled the storm surge and breached levees in New Orleans neighborhoods, the MRGO is finally on its way to being gone. This week, the Congress agreed to a plan championed by Senators Landrieu (D-La.), Vitter (R-La.), Inhofe (R-Ok.), and Jeffords (I-Vt.) that will close the MRGO and require the restoration of wetlands devastated by its construction and operation (Click here to read our press release http://www.americanrivers.org/site/R?i=wDbffsyJoqN..... ). A report from the Corps on final closure and restoration is due in 18 months. While this action comes too late for New Orleans flooding victims in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward, at least the MRGO won't continue to wreak havoc on Louisiana's dwindling wetlands and the people who count on the coastal buffer zone to lessen the damage from powerful storms. American Rivers is proud to have joined a number of community, conservation, and governmental leaders who pushed for the closure of the misguided Corps of Engineers shipping channel that did little but worsen the Katrina tragedy. As always, we thank you, our dedicated supporters for helping to make a difference. Sincerely, Rebecca R. Wodder President http://magazine.audubon.org/features0605/wetlands.html http://magazine.audubon.org/features0605/intro.html