May 27th, 2010
06:23 PM ET
13 years ago

Feds give partial OK to Louisiana dredge plan

(CNN) - The federal government gave partial approval Thursday to Louisiana's plan to keep oil out of coastal estuaries by dredging up new barrier islands, the official leading the government's response to the Gulf of Mexico spill said.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen called for a prototype project to begin on one of six segments approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

"Implementing this section of the proposal will allow us to assess this strategy's effectiveness in protecting coastal communities and habitats of the Gulf region as quickly as possible," Allen said in a statement announcing the decision.

Allen said he has approved the use of dredges "where work could be completed the fastest," with the government and oil giant BP responsible for the costs.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal later told a news conference that the work on the initial project should start immediately to prove how effective the dredged barriers can be.

The state had sought backing for 24 projects that would create about 90 miles of barrier; the six approved by the government will cover about 40 miles, Jindal said.

The move follows demands over the weekend by frustrated Louisiana officials, who complained that heavy oil from the massive Gulf of Mexico spill was starting to poison estuaries around the mouth of the Mississippi River while they waited for the Corps' authorization.

Jindal said the work could start showing results within 10 days of approval. Citing the success of similar work undertaken by local authorities,
Jindal said: "It's showing that keeping oil off of our coasts is better than fighting it on our coasts."

The governor noted that the spill has badly hurt the shrimp and fishing industries, and now is keeping people away from a popular holiday destination.

Thousands normally come for Memorial Day weekend, he said, but today "the docks were empty, the marinas were empty, the beaches were empty."

"This should have been a peak earning time," he said. "That shows you the impact."

Filed under: Energy • Louisiana
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Katie B in NC

    Beware of unintended consequences! This scheme will pacify the folks who want SOMETHING done - even if it's wrong - but it could end up doing more harm than good.

    May 27, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Karen

    It's about time!

    May 27, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. zeus

    About 2 weeks too late !!! Your government at it's best.

    May 27, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    I never thought I would even think of doing anything like the Arabs, but how about super tankers sucking up the oil/water? That is what they do.

    May 27, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Jasmine in Germany

    It's a sad situation...but McCain's words: "drill, baby, drill!" still ring out in my ears as a selling point for policy making practice by politicians who have the interest at heart in themselves and their lobbyists instead of the nation moving forward as a whole...Very sad, indeed. At least we have a current administration not in cohoots with the oil industry (like in the past). Most of the Southern States (including Louisiana) would be in better shape if they had different political party leadership. The "people" would benefit with new leadership. How aout if the USA starts moving into the 21st Century? It is still time for "change"!

    May 27, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. DENNA

    Wow. Bobby Jindal is willing to take help from the gov'ment. I think that all of the anti-government states should just do it on their own. If you hate President Obama and his "socialist" agenda, why would you want help from his administration?

    May 27, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Capt. Snarky

    Bobby "boots on the ground" Jindal gets things rolling on the spill clean up. He's been very visible/vocal in this crisis, unlike someone who resides in the White House......

    May 27, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. dc

    Gov. jindal is a "Drill Baby Drill" Republican. You reap what, what you sow!

    May 27, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. JIM El Paso Tx

    Jindal gets those dredges going and he needs to just keep on going...screw the Corp of Engineers, Allen, Obama an anybody else opposed to his plan!

    May 27, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Donald, Toronto

    I have been an ardent supprter of President Obama's initiatives for America so far because I do think he really cares. However at this time of severe envirinmental calamity due to people's negligence and the civil servants are dragging their feet, the president need to take off his legal professor's hat under which he is thinking of legal procedure and instead use the intelligence and common sense that God has given him, take charge, kick some butts and execute some executive orders. While civil servantsd are dragging their feet, the coast line is been damage. How much study was needed to know if dredges would be effective. Also, if leases are being given to oil companies by the government, "shouldn't the government agencies with experts have already done studies of how to protect the coastline in case of what is happening now. The people who were to be providng oversight was assing around. Put the bastards in jail. PRESIDENT OBAMA GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. LEADERSHIP IS NOT ONLY IN TALKING BUT ALSO WITH THE CORRESPONDING ACTIONS. We will wait to see what action you take from here on. The civil servants and BP have messed thus far. It is now for you to have a competent person who report directly to you to be incharge and get this mess corrected. Enough is enough Mr. President.

    May 27, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |