Louisiana Field School Spillway Photo Journal


Livable Futures graduate student research fellow, Molly Rideout, shares experiences from a day planting saplings and getting to know the Bonnet Carre spillway during the Louisiana Field School.

Britt explains the appropriate way to plant a tree as the team prepares to plant 100 saplings in the Bonnet Carre spillway flood zone. The trees, when mature, will slow down the floodwater near the dirt levees and mitigate erosion.


Students hard at work planting live oak, water oak, and others.


The students saw many “Crawfish castles” in the mud. Crawfish burrow down until they reach the water table, making this chimney shaped structure as a result.


The Bonnet Carre spillway is a 1.5 mile long structure which handles major overflow of the Mississippi River to release pressure on the city levees. Designed after the 1927 flood, it diverts freshwater into Lake Ponchatrain. The Army Corps of Engineers had to open it only about 6 times between it’s building and 2005. After flooding throughout the midwest, it is about to be opened again for the second time this year.