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The federal government has officially adopted the name “Mardi Gras Pass” for a highly disputed Mississippi River offshoot near Pointe à la Hache, marking a new twist in the contentious debate over who should control the waterway.

Last month, WWL-TV reported on the dispute over whether Mardi Gras Pass is a naturally formed river diversion that should be left alone so it can carry desperately needed land-building sediment to coastal marshes; or if it’s really just a manmade canal run amok, a channel that state and federal agencies should have been controlling for decades and now have a responsibility to get back under control.

Mardi Gras Pass formed on Mardi Gras day in 2012 following the record high water levels of 2011.

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