Debating the Merits of the Louisiana's Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Project

August 9, 2021

Oyster fisheries and more

This week, hosts Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham welcome Dr. John Dale "Zach" Lea to the show to debate the merits of the Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion (MBSD), a massive coastal marsh restoration plan currently in development with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority intended to naturally renourish the Mid Barataria basin with sediment that is currently ejected from the delta system out the channelized mouth of the Mississippi River. Dr. Lea, an agricultural economist and the "exclusive Shellevator dealer for Louisiana," believes strongly that the MBSD project will cause more harm than benefit, and argues that the economic cost to the oyster fishery in the Barataria is too great to warrant the stated benefits. Where do you think Peter and Tyler will land on this important coastal project? Find out here, only on ASPN!

Show Transcription
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Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.