We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Yep --i grew up in SW Louisiana, and i can tell you, down there, the Army Corp of Engineers, executing on Federal orders, is a dirty word. Or a dirty four words. Been that way since the FDR days. The main beef is that to straighten out the bends in the rivers is to amp the damage of riverine flooding in unleveed areas. But the science depts at the universities go deeper into the LoUC (Law of Uninten...well, you know) and therefore stay sick over the flora and fauna dislocations.
Yeah, I used to live in New Orleans. The Corp is fighting a battle with mother nature - part of which is to keep the river flowing through New Orleans. Another is to keep New Orleans (mostly) above water. In fights with nature, you can never win. The Corp is winning (the river still goes through NO and the city is (somewhat) above sea level) but a lot of the marsh areas are loosing. That means we are loosing.
Pease tell if I'm wrong, but some biologists up north have told me that removing the wolves greatly impacted the ecological system going south as the wolves used to eat the deer and other wildlife that fed on the plant that held the banks of the feeder rivers and streams together...dah, dah..dah, dah...something like the mangroves that hold land together around the coral in The Keys.
I grew up in New Orleans (Lakeview), as did my wife. My parents and my in-laws lost their houses - the houses where we grew up - and most everything else. Not because of Katrina, but the decisions (or lack thereof) of the US Army Corps of Engineers. There is a wonderful bumper sticker going around here:
"U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: We put the lake in Lakeview."
Let's be some fair to the Corps and the various planning projects. The Mississippi still produces devastating floods but they were much worse in the past. Mark Twain writes of a flood that made the river seventy miles wide -- unusual but only in degree. Managing the river does mean some areas are winners and others are losers. This is probably a case of "greatest good for the greatest number", and it does come with consequences.
The current plan may have to change at great expense and with new winners and losers. Many forces shape the great rivers and their floods and droughts. Those changes also produce winners and losers -- including one Illinois town that woke up to find itself west of the Mississippi.
I know too little about riverine engineering to say which projects seem wise and which are foolish or boondoggles. But I know the projects were launched because of damage they were expected to control, and I know that some of the damage they caused was expected and weighed.