Levees.org’s nomination of Levee Breach Sites to National Register of Historic Places

Press Conference in Lower Ninth Ward announcing nomination of Breach Sites, 8-4-2010. Photo/Stanford Rosenthal

In 2020, Levees.org will resubmit its 2011 National Register nomination (17th Street Canal and Inner Harbor Navigation Channel) as a Multiple Property Nomination (17th Street Canal, Inner Harbor Navigation Channel and London Avenue Canal). Sources for strategy include Mark R. Barnes’ evaluation, Carol D. Shull’s analysis, and Dorothy Fue Wong’s site visit to New Orleans (Nov 2-7, 2018).

These three breach sites were selected for their integrity (clarity that a breach occurred) and their cause of greatest damages in terms of property and lives. The nomination will discuss the 290-year history of New Orleans and its development of canals and levees to meet the climatic environment and population expansion. The nomination will discuss the social, cultural and economic impact of levees in the United States, both positive and negative following Carol D. Shull’s analysis.

In August 2010, with the Lower Ninth Ward as a backdrop, Levees.org announced its nomination of two levee breach sites to the National Register of Historic Places – the 17th Street Canal and the Industrial Canal (east side north).

The two sites are now National Register Eligible Properties.

In April 2011, the Louisiana State Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO) confirmed that Levees.org’s 28-page documentation of the two levee breaches (how and why they occurred, their significance, etc) has been placed in a public file that federal agencies must use when undertaking any activities under Section 106 that are in the vicinity of the breach sites.

In addition, the information in this file may be consulted by media, groups and individuals interested in the history of New Orleans’ water and levee systems, and the events surrounding the breaching of the levees during Hurricane Katrina.