The state and federal governments have agreed to mutually study the benefits controlled Mississippi River diversions may have on restoring coastal marshlands. Garrett Graves, director of the state Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, says a 5-year study with the US Army Corps of Engineers will seek those answers. Graves says the Corps' decades of work building river levees has protected millions, but also stopped distribution of river silt and muds
into wetlands. He says coastal erosion has robbed the state of over 1900 square miles of land.

Graves says the study will lead to controlled diversions of river waters into the wetlands. Graves and Corps of Engineers Col. Ed Fleming signed an agreement to engage in a 5-year, $25-million study; to be split 50-50 between the state and feds. Col. Fleming says the study will look at river hydro-dynamics and delta formation science.