The Controversial Plan to Unleash the Mississippi• arclein
Few places are going faster than Plaquemines Parish, which encompasses the muddy land along the river's final 100 or so kilometers, where New Orleans' exurbs give way to a smattering of rural communities. (A parish is the local equivalent of a county, a remnant of Louisiana's French colonial history.) One morning last summer, as we weave in his skiff through the parish's marshland, Richie Blink tells me that the federal government has recently deleted 30-odd names from local nautical maps. Fleur Pond, Dry Cypress Bayou, Tom Loor Pass, Skipjack Bay: all have become undifferentiated, unlabeled expanses of open ocean.