US Army Corps of Engineers
Mississippi Valley Division

Lousiana Coastal Area Science and Technology Program

The coastal wetlands of Louisiana are among the Nation’s most productive and important natural assets in terms of habitat, wildlife diversity, storm protection, port commerce, and oil and natural gas production. In the 2004 Lousiana Coastal Area (LCA) planning document, provision was made to initiate a LCA Science and Technology Office in order to address many of the scientific uncertainties that needed to be resolved prior to construction of large restoration efforts.  This effort was authorized as a cost shared effort between the US Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Louisiana in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act. The cooperative program was conducted for three years, until the cost-sharing partner decided to follow an alternate path.  This website serves as an archive of the more that 30 projects, 50 publications, and numerous Science Board deliberations that were completed during the program life.    

LCA Science Board Provides Diversion Guidance Document

Four members of the Louisiana Coastal Area Science Board, Drs. Robert G. Dean, John T. Wells, Joseph Fernando and Peter Goodwin, prepared a document designed to provide a framework for thinking about river diversions.  The document is entitled "River Diversions: Principles, Processes, Challenges and Opportunities:  A Guidance Document."   This Guidance Document provides a framework and rational basis for the preliminary design of river diverisons and the selection of key design parameters that will impact their performance. 

The Guidance Document also includes general recommendation for selection and utilization of diversion sites: 1) select sites that, based on all available evidence, are in areas of low subsidence; 2) select sites that are likely to have very high trapping efficiency; 3) select sites that are less than 2 m in depth; 4) select sites that have very low bottom gradients; 5) implement a well-thought-out monitoring plan to be part of each diversion project; 6) apply adaptive management as new information and understanding becomes available from monitoring; 7) recognize that diversions will have a life cycle and are not permanent features; and, 8) recognize and model insofar as possible the effects on navigation that will likely result from large diversions.

The full document can be downloaded from the following link:  Dean and Wells Final Guidance Document.pdf

Ad Hoc Peer Review Committees

The Ad Hoc Peer Review Committees, as part of the Science and Technology (S&T) Program, ensure there is sufficient coordination between the needs of Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Plan Project Evaluation Team (PET) and the activities of the S&T office. The Ad Hoc Peer Review Committee will collaborate with each PET throughout the development of the Project Management Plan (PMP) and during the course of the feasibility study by providing an independent panel of experts to review matters such as economic and environmental analyses, engineering analyses, formulation of alternative plans, methods for integrating risk and uncertainty, and models used in evaluation of proposed projects.

The Technical Support Team (TST), within the Ad Hoc Peer Review Committees, serves a critical role in engaging and representing the larger science and engineering community that has been actively involved in advancing the knowledge, understanding, and tools necessary to develop an ecosystem restoration program in coastal Louisiana. Technical Review Team members have been selected based on their expertise and their knowledge of the array of experts in their field that may be able to assist with LCA program and project needs. Specific roles of the TST include:

  • Identify and recommend personnel that can provide the highest quality of science and engineering expertise to support activities of the PETs
  • Identify and recommend details associated with scope of services that define the science and engineering needs of the S&T Plan
  • Review and recommend processes and mechanisms to engage the highest quality of science and engineering expertise