The Bonnet Carre Spillway opened this month to alleviate flooding along the Mississippi River in New Orleans. This is the twelfth time the spillway has opened in its 80-year history.
The spillway structure is located more than 20 miles upriver from New Orleans, and it features “bays” that open, allowing floodwater from the river to spill into nearby Lake Pontchartrain.
This causes the Mississippi River’s water levels to decrease, removing potential flooding issues for New Orleans. However, it also allows freshwater from the river to invade the brackish lake waters, causing some changes for marine life in the lake.