Sandbar Plan Is Bad Science

At best, berms will do nothing to protect La. coastline
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2010 4:45 PM CDT
A bulldozer moves sand to construct a berm on East Grand Terre Island, La. to provide a barrier against the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Tuesday, June 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – Bobby Jindal's plan to protect the Louisiana coastline with sandbars is more the product of political hysteria than pragmatic decision-making, Sharon Begley writes for Newsweek. Few coastal scientists think the berms—which will cost $360 million initially and need to be constantly rebuilt—will protect the wetlands from BP's oil.

There is even a danger than the sandbars may block inlets that allow water to pass into the wetlands, disrupting its life processes: "You could kill the wetlands without the oil ever reaching them," says one coastal geologist. The plan will set a bad precedent, Begley notes: "BP’s oil will assault the gulf, and possibly the Atlantic, for years. Many more decisions that turn on science lie ahead."

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