MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Monday, November 28, 2005

Learning From the Dutch

In 1953 1,835 people died in horrible floods caused by massive North Sea storms in the Netherlands. Since then the Dutch initiated a 33 year 14.7 billion dollar project aimed at protecting their country, which lies on average 8 feet below sea level. This project, which was completed in 1986, created robust systems of barriers, dams, and levees intended to protect the coastal communities. One of the most important additions to the Netherlands defense system was the creation of wetlands that provided a natural protection from surging waters. The Dutch spend an average of $1.5 billion dollars per year on flood defense which would equal the USA spending approximately $30 million dollars per year if a population based comparison was made. This is over seven times more than is actually spent by the US Army Corps of Engineers on such activities ($4 million). Much can be learned from the parallels in this situation and full advantage should be taken. New Orleans’ officials and Dutch leaders have been in contact and we can only hope that a consulting relationship is created.

2 Comments:

  • I listened to the Dutch Ambassador on WWL radio tonight. He had a very positive hopeful message. Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear such things from our own government. I have about given up all hope of that. It is so WRONG!!!!

    By Blogger doctorj2u, at 6:17 PM  

  • Dr.Ivor van Heerden of LSU's Hurricane Center has pointed out in interviews that rebuilding the coastal wetlands in Louisiana would also create JOBS.

    By Anonymous quintus jett, at 8:15 PM  

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