Six members of a governor-appointed board in Louisiana recently voted against placing the sites of two catastrophic levee breaches in New Orleans during Katrina on the National Register of Historic Places. Two-thirds of the 9-member state Review Board voted down the flood protection group Levees.org’s quest to list the breach of the 17th St. Canal and the east side north breach site of the Industrial Canal to the prestigious Register.
“The board members signaled that they didn’t believe the sites of the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history were historic,” said Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org.
Some board members said they were ‘uncomfortable’ with the nomination text because it faulted the Army Corps of Engineers for the levee and floodwall failures. Several members thought the text contained too much information.
“You have made this very difficult for us,” noted Board Chairwoman Glenna Kramer of Franklin. “It’s so long and so complicated.”
Despite the Board’s 3-yes, 6-no vote, the State Historic Preservation Officer, Ms. Pam Breaux and her staff continues to support the eligibility of the two breach sites.
On December 29, Ms. Breaux confirmed that she has sent Levees.org’s 39-page nomination along with her letter of support and other documents pertinent to the breach sites’ eligibility to the Corps of Engineer’s Federal Preservation Officer in Washington, DC. This is in accordance with regulations 36 CFR 60 which govern the National Register process.
“We believe the document to be procedurally and professionally correct,” stated Ms. Breaux in her cover letter to the FPO.
According to Ms. Nicole Hobson-Morris, executive director of the State Preservation Office, the state Review Board does not have the final say. “We will be sending the nomination to the FPO,” said Ms. Hobson-Morris. “We will also send all 44 letters of support for the nomination including U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s letter.”
Mark Barnes, consultant to Levees.org noted that sending the nomination text to the FPO is an appropriate step. “It’s an attempt to obtain a solid statement of support for the nomination from the corps or not, “ said Mr. Barnes.
According to regulations, the corps’ Federal Preservation Officer, Mr. Terrence Salt has 60 days to respond with the federal agency’s position on the eligibility of the two levee breach sites. Click here for cover letter from Ms. Pam Breaux to the Federal Preservation Office.
To see who voted and their comments click here for transcript of Review Committee Meeting.
To see who submitted letters of support click here.
Founded in November 2005 by Sandy Rosenthal and her then 15-year old son, Stanford Rosenthal, Levees.org is a flood protection advocacy group devoted to education about the true cause of the catastrophic flooding in the New Orleans region during Katrina.
~Editilla What the Hellas~ Sorry y'all, but Ah gotta step in heah. Correct me if Ah'm wrong, this is the State HISTORICAL Review Board, right?
Mah lovely step-mother, rest her soul, was a History Professor at Delta State University mah entire life and I can remember her saying one day, "A 'History' by definition is a simple story to many people, yet our pursuit of it involves -at least- complicated dedication." Ah'm just wondering what is the Fickn Problem here wit'dees faux history buffs on this pseudo Hysterical Review Committee?
Now, I've read the Levees.org proposal Twice, and bare in mind Ah had 2 strokes during this in December, and Ah got it just fine. Ah'm jes'sayin... Ah have certified brain damage and did not have any trouble with Getting the levees.org proposal.
Indeed, back in the August Heat, we went to Baton Rouge to witness the FIRST full powerpoint presentation by Mrs, Rosenthal to this band of hayseeds. (It should be noted here, but Mrs Rosenthal is a nice Lady, that the Corps stepped in, like schoolyard punks, at the last minute, with their own erroneous property ownership issues to scuttled the entire presentation that day. Yet, Mrs Rosenthal bravely soldiered on with it for the Committee, and had to return a few months later with Exactly the same presentation --to which these History Rogues thumbed their provincially ignorant noses.) Yes, it is thick with Data, incredibly copious details about Exactly what happened and where. Indeed, the NRHP requires nothing less. They encourage the nominator to include As Much Detail As Possible. It's the way these things work. This is the Only Way these things work.
Levees.org had to have put in WEEKS/MONTHS pouring over geographical GIS maps, cultural HISTORY, city plats, photographs, geotechincal studies, court rulings, expensive title searches, whateva the NRHP wanted --and they want it all! High Five to Sandy Rosenthal and her krewe! This is what it means to FINISH STRONG in The City the Care Forgot and the Goddamned Exquisite Corps of Engineers Left For Dead!
Yet, our State Hysterical Review Committee seems to be dominated by Lazy Historians! They must hail from Yankee North Louisiana or other boondock environs of the tragically ill-bred, badly medicated Nola-haters. Our State Hysterical Committee members look at History and say "EWE! THIS IS TOO COMPLICATED!" Our State Hysterical Committee members look at History and simply stick their heads in the sandy levees.
To these boorish white-sock wearing nimnybobs in Baton Rouge Ah say: FYYFFs!
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