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New plot of land formed in fast-eroding Miss. River delta gives hope for rebuilding wetlands
WEST BAY, La. (AP) ' Scientist say a diversion in the Mississippi River near its outlet at the Gulf of Mexico has created several new acres of land, giving hope that the test cut in the riverbank may yield clues to arresting heavy coastal erosion in southern Louisiana.
Authorities say historic flooding on the river ' coupled with recent work by the Army Corps to build artificial islands at the edge of the bay ' have produced a hump of land in an area called West Bay. The new patch of ground measures about 4 acres.
Still, cuts like the one at West Bay are the subject of debate among scientists. Some scientists say manmade river diversions build land too slowly to solve Louisiana's problems. The state loses about 17 square miles of coast annually.