New Study Shows Construction of Sediment Diversions Will Deliver Significant Economic Benefits

Construction will increase regional sales by $3 billion and support nearly 4,000 jobs over seven years

October 16, 2019
Jacques Hebert

(NEW ORLEANS, LA – Oct. 16, 2019) A new report released today by Dr. Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc. details the regional economic impacts of building the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton sediment diversions. The report, “The Economic Impact of Constructing the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion Projects” showcases how local and state businesses, governments and residents will benefit economically during the combined seven-year period between 2021 and 2027 when these projects are being built.

The analysis indicates that the construction of these projects, totaling $1.85 billion over seven years, will have significant economic benefits within Plaquemines Parish and regionally.

“The positive economic impacts of constructing the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton sediment diversions will be significant and will be felt within Plaquemines Parish and across the broader region,” said Dr. Loren Scott, President of Dr. Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc. 

In Plaquemines Parish specifically, business sales within the parish are expected to increase by $2.3 billion and $7.2 million will be added to the local treasury. Constructing these projects will support an annual average of 391 jobs a year with 687 created in 2023—the year of greatest expenditures. Over the seven-year period, parish residents will experience a $157.6 million increase in household earnings.

The benefits will extend to a broader region, including Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Regional business sales will increase by $3.1 billion and local government treasuries will receive an increase of $36.7 million. On average, 2,255 jobs will be supported during the seven-year period with a peak of 3,962 jobs in 2023. Across the four parishes, household earnings will increase by $809.2 million.

The State of Louisiana will also benefit with $56.6 million in state revenues being added during the period of building, an amount slightly greater than the costs of funding the Office of the Lieutenant Governor during a similar time frame.

“These projects will not only help defend our parish and region against the worst impacts of flooding, they will provide real economic opportunities for businesses and real jobs for residents,” said Steve Cochran, Campaign Director for Restore the Mississippi River Delta. “Louisiana is taking its biggest challenge and turning it into jobs and economic opportunity.”

The two sediment diversions are currently in engineering and design and will be located on either side of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish. Once built, these coastal restoration projects will be operated strategically to deliver sediment, freshwater and nutrients from the Mississippi River to build and maintain tens of thousands of adjacent wetlands over time. Plaquemines Parish is experiencing some of the most severe land loss on the planet. Without projects from Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, the parish could lose an additional 296 square miles–or 55% of its total land mass–in the next 50 years.

The report also found that construction firms will benefit the most from these projects, garnering 82% of sales. However, in 2023, over $10 million in new spending will benefit businesses operating in durable goods manufacturing, wholesale trade, non-durable goods manufacturing and firms in the professional/technical/scientific sectors.

“These projects will create and support thousands of jobs. We should make sure that the state, contractors and others involved in the construction of these diversions prioritize hiring and sourcing locally to drive the greatest economic impact to Plaquemines Parish and the surrounding region,” said Cochran.

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.

Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense FundNational Audubon Society, the National Wildlife FederationCoalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc., provides economic consulting and public speaking services for a wide range of clients. Consulting activities include impact studies, forecasting services, analysis of policy proposals, and general economic analyses. Dr. Scott is co-developer of the Louisiana econometric model, a model used for providing annual forecasts of the Louisiana economy, which are released each fall. He is also presently Professor Emeritus of Economics at LSU.