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Unleashing big muddy

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Science  23 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6540, pp. 334-337
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6540.334

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Summary

In Louisiana, state officials and scientists are working to harness the Mississippi River to save part of the coast from disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico. The project, billed as one of the world's largest ecological restoration efforts, is a grand experiment in trying to revive some of the natural processes that built Louisiana's rich coastal wetlands. The plan calls for routing part of the sediment-filled river into nearby Barataria Bay, just south of New Orleans. The hope is this new sand and mud will replenish marshes starved of sediment when the river was walled off by a network of levees decades ago. Scientists who have documented the coast's decline are now working to understand what's likely to happen if the river is unleashed, and to document the effects if the project goes forward.

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