64 Parishes



In Plaquemines Parish, the need to build sustainable land is dire.

Published: July 3, 2019
Last Updated: October 2, 2019

Directed by John Richie
2017; 24 min.

Plaquemines Parish, located just south of New Orleans, runs the entire length of the Mississippi on both banks of the river. No area of the state has been more impacted by coastal land loss. The State of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan calls for a sediment diversion to begin replenishing the marshlands, building back the land using its original creator: the river. Residents are divided over the plan. Some welcome the prospect of saving their homes, while many oyster farmers fear the diversions will destroy their oyster beds and their livelihood. This film travels through Plaquemines communities exploring the science of diversion and the dilemmas it creates. 

Director John Richie’s 2009 film Shell Shocked aired nationally on PBS, and his most recent film, 91% was released through the Cinema Guild. He has partnered in the past with the Sierra Club and the City of New Orleans.

The WaterWays films are made possible by a grant to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities from the Walton Family Foundation to support a multi-year initiative to document the issues facing Louisiana’s coast. 

Download the Diversions Discussion Guide