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Contest launches for Lower Mississippi River Delta rebuild

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A competition has been launched to rebuild the Lower Mississippi River Delta in America’s Deep South

The Changing Course contest aims to rescue wetlands around the river from sinking into the Gulf of Mexico.

It is being run by local civic, industry and academic figures, with support from the State of Louisiana, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Defense Fund and architectural body Van Alen.

Interest is sought from teams of ‘internationally prominent’ engineers, scientists, planners and designers before the registration deadline of 4 October, through the competition website.

Initial submissions, including a description of approach and a vision for the area, are due by 25 October.

Teams will be shortlisted in December, with a two-stage design competition running from March 2014 to February 2015.

The aim is to find a proposal that will restore the Mississippi River’s natural land-building capacity while supporting the navigation system in the lower river.

Many residents working in sectors such as tourism and fishing depend on the Delta for their livelihoods. The area is also used as a natural flood defence for New Orleans.

The competition website says: ‘Changing Course is a process intended to catalyse landscape and river restoration while, through the design process, simultaneously ensuring the vitality and sustainability of communities and culture tied to this place.’

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