Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration [September 26, 2005] [open pdf - 112KB]
"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused widespread damage and destruction to wetlands along the central Gulf Coast. Prior to these hurricanes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking approval from the 109th Congress for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to construct five projects that would help to restore portions of the coastal Louisiana ecosystem by slowing the rate of wetland loss and restoring some wetlands. This funding would also be used to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program, discusses whether it might have muted the impacts of a hurricane of the magnitude and paths of Katrina or Rita, and whether the devastation caused by both hurricanes might cause the Corps and other restoration supporters to propose either altering aspects of this proposed program, or expanding it. This report will be updated as more information becomes available about either the storms' effects on coastal Louisiana and its wetlands, or about any changes in the proposed program in response to these natural disasters."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22276