Las Vegas Sun

April 22, 2018

Currently: 81° — Complete forecast

Mighty Mississippi: Scientists use model in land loss fight

Updated Monday, April 16, 2018 | 10:07 p.m.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Scientists working on new ways to battle the erosion that threatens Louisiana's coastline have a dramatic new tool.

A massive replica of the lower Mississippi River has been built in Baton Rouge just a stone's throw from the actual river.

The model will help experts study the river and how sediment can be used from it to fight coastal erosion.

Louisiana is estimated to have lost 2,000 square miles (5,180 square kilometers) of coastline since the 1930s. The state is planning to divert sediment and water from the river through channels cut into the levees along the river to rebuild lost land.

The model will allow researchers to study those diversions and the effect they will have on the river.