The local administration in Louisiana is planning to use millions of gallons of treated sewage to repair the marshes along the New Orleans coast, in an attempt to protect the city from catastrophic storm surges produced by hurricanes like last yearâ€™s hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina pounded the coast, permanently flooding the marsh lands, which serve as a natural habitat and breeding ground for many mammals, fishes, crustaceans and birds. Local marshes and swamps have been serving as natural barriers to storm surges in this region. Ecologists and environmentalists believe that the treated sewage could stimulate the growth of swamp cypress (a plant belonging to the family Cupressaceae), which actually protects the coasts from the deadly Gulf of Mexico hurricanes.Â Â Â
The 40 million dollar project will divert treated sewage from New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish, to an area east of New Orleans, where the storm surge produced by hurricane Katrina permanently flooded the region with salt water, destroying the cypress vegetation, which once thrived in this region. John Day, a professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at the Louisiana State University, said that the sewage water will push the salt water back in to the sea and at the same time provide enough nutrients and fresh water, which would stimulate the growth of swamp cypress trees.