Anyway, I grew up just East of New Orleans and my home town was completely wiped out. Correction, my entire home parish (county) was wiped out. This has gotten a little press, but not as much as needed to fix the problem that caused the destruction. Half of my family suddenly became homeless due to hurricane Katrina. Their lives have been torn apart. The effect on St. Bernard Parish was total destruction. This has been the first time in FEMA history that an entire parish(county) had been wiped out by a "natural" disaster. Many families are planning on moving back or would if they could get one small thing done.
This is where I need your help. The reason all of St. Bernard was flooded was due to the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, as admitted by Greg Breerwood of the Army Corps of Engineers in a report by ABC 26 News in New Orleans. The residents of St. Bernard didn't want it built before construction of it began; now they have more reason to get it shut down permanently as all their fears have come true. The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) did two things: 1. it destroyed valuable wetlands that protected St. Bernard, the lower 9th Ward, and New Orleans East from the type of storm surge Katrina brought, and 2. it funned the surge right into these same areas. Dr. Hassan Mashriqui of the LSU Hurricane Center, a storm surge expert, speculates in the same report from ABC 26 New in New Orleans, that these to areas should not have flooded. According to this scientist, St. Bernard is mostly above sea level while the city is mostly below sea level and Chalmette, in particular, should have been the safest place in SE Louisiana from the storm surge.(You can view the report here, it's the first video link "Series introduction and analysis of Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) impact on the region, with Doug Mouton")
If the outrage of the man made destruction doesn't motivate, then perhaps you should consider the following: Taxpayers spent $22 million+ a year in upkeep of the MRGO so that deep draft vessels could have access to the inner harbor of the Port of New Orleans. This is a ridiculous amount if you consider the fact that the MRGO only produces about a million dollars a year of increased revenue to the Port. The wharves that utilize the MRGO could be relocated without a loss of jobs or revenue while saving tax payers 21 million dollars a year - money that could be used to rebuild the wetlands and long gone cypress forests that surrounded St. Bernard Parish among other things.
The MRGO has got to be shut down. I need everyone in the US to write their representatives demanding that the MRGO be closed. I also need you to please pass this message around so that more people know about this. If you need more information, please visit http://www.ccmrgo.org/ This will cost you nothing but a few moments, but would help a LOT of people.