Protect Naturally-Forming New River in Louisiana

Target: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Goal: Grant official navigable waterway status to the Mardi Gras Pass.

Over the past year, the Mardi Gras Pass has formed itself and grown into a fairly-sized river. Without the protection of official waterway status, this naturally occurring river will have no chance of survival. The US Army Corps of Engineers must grant official status to the Mardi Gras Pass and allow this waterway to thrive.

The Mardi Gras Pass flows over a poorly maintained road leading to an oil and gas facility called Eland/Sundown Energy. The facility has asked permission from the US Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild this road, stopping the development of the Mardi Gras Pass in its tracks. In an article from the Advocate, Amy Wold writes, “In January, the corps granted the company a ‘Programmatic General Permit,’ which essentially is a way for the corps to say it has no objection to the permit, but that the permit has to get state authorization as well.” In order for the river to survive, this permit must be revoked.

In this industrial age, rivers traditionally do not form on their own; however, the Mardi Gras Pass barreled its way through southern Louisiana. It began forming on Mardi Gras in 2011, and since then has only increased in length, width, and depth. This new river, aside from providing new habitats for wildlife from the Mississippi River, could increase transportation around the area if the waterway were deemed navigable. This status would protect the river and allow it to become what it was naturally intended to be.


Dear US Army Corps of Engineers,

You recently gave the Eland/Sundown Energy facility a Programmatic General Permit to rebuild the road that leads to its facility. This action must be stopped. The water that was previously trickling over the road has now evolved to be a growing new river, named the Mardi Gras Pass. I insist you preserve nature’s will. Deem the Mardi Gras Pass a navigable waterway and don’t allow its destruction for a road.

The Mardi Gras Pass formed naturally over the last year, something that is quite rare in today’s modern, industrial world. This waterway forged itself, and its existence may potentially be one of importance. If you allow Eland/Sundown Energy to rebuild this road, we may never learn what the Mardi Gras Pass could have taught us about the way rivers form, or the changes occurring in the Mississippi River. Nature cannot be fought, only worked with. I urge you to grant the Mardi Gras Pass official navigable waterway status and allow the river to grow for many years to come.


[Your Name Here]

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