Mississippi River Delta – HKV announced winner in changing course design competition

Together with H3 Studio and Aecom/URS, HKV is leading partner in winning team STUDIO MISI-ZIIBI, an international team of engineers, coastal scientists, planners and designers. From the Netherlands also the landscape architect Robbert de Koning (member of the core design team) and the Delft University of Technology were involved. In March 2015 STUDIO MISI-ZIIBI presented its new long term vision “the MISI-ZIIBI LIVING DELTA for the 22nd century – a healthy, productive and resilient delta” that demonstrates how, over time, the Mississippi River’s water and sediment can be used to maximize rebuilding of the severely eroding delta wetlands while continuing to meet the needs of navigation, flood protection, and coastal industries and communities. The vision combines (i) a dynamic and robust delta with adaptable ecosystems, (ii)  growth of a diverse and transformative economies and (iii) safe, strong and distinctive communities.
HKV’s role in the design was focused on river, coastal and delta-dynamics, and specifically aimed at using natural processes when possible and innovative structural and non-structural measures when needed, for sustainable land building, flood management and navigation improvement. Core elements of the delta-building strategy are:
1. Reconnection of the Mississippi River and its Wetlands
2. Focus ECO 3D [dredge+dump, dredge-siphon, divert] Wetland/Land Building
3. Realignment and shortening of the Mississippi River entrance
HKV also carried out hydraulic and morphological simulations for improved understanding of the delta-system and validation of the proposed concepts. 
The proposed innovations of STUDIO MISI-ZIIBI will be considered in the coastal planning of the State of Louisiana and may be considered for inclusion in the 2017 Coastal Master Plan – an important blueprint for Louisiana coastal restoration and protection efforts. Furthermore, the innovations could serve as models for coastal restoration efforts around the world.