By Happy Johnson, National Wildlife Federation
On September 9, life-long community residents and civic leaders from New Orleans' Historic Lower 9th Ward took a boat tour of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier (IHNC), to see the structure up close and engage in discussions with local non-profit representatives about the critical importance of hurricane protection and ecosystem restoration.
The tour was sponsored by the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED), Lake Pontchatrain Basin Foundation, Gulf Restoration Network and the National Wildlife Federation. Other highlights of the tour included the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the Bayou Bienvenue flood gate at the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shoreline protection projects and the Central Wetlands. The coastal ecosystems surrounding the aforementioned flood protection structures are vital to community protection.
Our observations and discussions with community members were guided by one key question: How do we restore our wetlands and protect our communities?
Check out the video below to learn more about the tour.