The Index


The Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MRGO) is an iconic waterway that links Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico. Built in the 1950s, it was initially intended to be a shortcut for ships and barges travelling between the two bodies of water. However, due to its poorly planned construction and subsequent lack of maintenance, MRGO has done more harm than good.

In 2006, Hurricane Katrina exposed just how devastating MRGO could be by funneling saltwater from the Gulf into the city’s canals and wetlands; resulting in severe flooding and property damage on an unprecedented scale. In response to these events, local state officials took action and began working towards restoring the wetlands that had been devastated by Katrina while also attempting to close down sections of MRGO as part of a larger effort to reduce storm surge flood risks in future hurricanes.

Over time, this process proved successful thanks in part to improved construction techniques like elevated walls and dredging projects that have managed to restore close to 437 acres of marshland so far. It's also become much safer for boats since 2008 when restrictions were implemented that limited motor speeds within its waters; reducing both fuel consumption and environmental risk.

The effects of MRGO are still felt today despite continued efforts towards its restoration. But with decades worth of hard work ahead still; it's a project that requires everyone’s commitment — from local community groups all the way up to federal agencies — if we're ever going to fully reclaim our coastal wetlands and make sure such disasters don't happen again!

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