The Times-Picayune continues to watchdog the Corps of Engineers and their failure to launch on our coastal protection and restoration initiative. Check out Pulitzer winner Mark Schleifstein’s most recent piece on the NOLA area’s “Category 5” protection plan here. Clearly, the Corps is dragging their feet, and no one in DC is willing to hold said appendages to the fire. Louisiana’s newly minted delegation needs to get on this immediately, and MOST importantly, needs to get other members from other states to see the value of this region. If this coastal restoration and protection effort is seen as a parochial interest of Landrieu, Melancon, Scalise and Vitter, then welcome to Team Irrelevant Congressman Cao, good luck pushing your levees to nowhere.One thing works for our coast and communities – the current push for “green jobs” to jumpstart the economy. Clearly, rebuilding wetlands and swamps will help create carbon sinks, so that should fit into that broad agenda item, and we’ve got plenty of projects ready to go down here to put boots and backhoe’s on the ground.One thing that works against our coast and communities – The push on green jobs is due in part to the new administration’s view of climate change as a mission-critical initiative. Our delegation (and the state, and the Corps) see it more as an irrelevant side discussion to our coastal crisis. Unless and until we can get some legitimate analysis and acknowledgment of the need to address both in order to have a sustainable NOLA means we’ve got a painful inconsistency that the new EPA/CEQ will likely point out, undercutting our chances of being the federal priority we’d like to be. Aaron Viles is GRN’s Campaign Director

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