Louisiana Barrier Island Project #2

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

First blogged about here on infrascape design, the NYTimes reported on 12/16/10 and previously on 10/21/10 (plus the WSJ) about the failure of the artificial berm to keep oil off the ecologically sensitive Chandeleur Islands in the Gulf of Mexico. An official US Govt report [pdf] derides the project as a waste of money and for not actually restoring the barrier islands.

“$220 million for a spill response measure that trapped not much more than 1,000 barrels of oil is not a compelling cost-benefit tradeoff,”

So far about 10 miles of berms have been built out of the proposed 128 miles. The question is now will they stop building the berm?

“Circumstances have changed considerably,” said Thomas L. Strickland, assistant interior secretary for fish and wildlife and parks. “And that would seem to warrant a revisiting of whether or not a continuation of the berm-building is the best use of limited resources, when we’re looking at such substantial restoration needs that exist in the gulf.”

sean gardner/reuters

European Pressphoto Agency