Millions of liters of sewage will be pumped into the swamps in the New Orleans area in order to restore them and help protect the city from disasters similar to Hurricane Katrina.
Ecologists told Cosmos Magazine that the treated waste will aid in stimulating growth of the region’s vanishing cypress swamps, which provide a buffer for deadly hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico.
The $40 million project will divert treated wastewater from New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish to an area east of New Orleans. This is the area where saltwater intrusion has destroyed what used to be a larger cypress forest. The project aims to restore eroding wetlands in the area.
John Day, professor of oceanography and coastal sciences at Louisiana State University pointed out that the treated sewage will aid in pushing out the salt water that found its way into the swamps, and will create the proper balance of nutrients and fresh water.
The water will also help to stimulate the growth of new cypress trees.