Tucked into Nina Easton‘s latest Fortune magazine column — focusing on Louisiana’s bipartisan “multibillion-dollar bet” to save the state’s sinking coastline —  is the following observation:

Indeed, the main culprit behind the disappearance of the delta wetlands dates back eight decades—to the killer Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, after which the federal government built the world’s longest system of levees and floodways. But those same protections also prevented sediment from pouring into the Mississippi and feeding the Gulf’s wetlands.

As a result, 1,900 square miles of land have disappeared since the 1930s, and the Water Institute predicts that another 1,750 square miles will be lost in the next 50 years—potentially producing $23.4 billion in annual damages as water drowns factories and refineries, communities, and roads. “We cannot rebuild the coast of 1930 or 1950, or even 1995,” says Speyrer. “But we can stop the bleeding and hold on to what we have.”

Despite the fact that this passage follows a paragraph that places some blame on oil companies, it’s important to reiterate that the “main culprit” in this environmental problem was government action decades ago that did not account accurately for potential negative consequences. Read the full story, and you’ll find that the government solution to the problem today depends on … wait for it … “federal fines levied on BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.” Yes, an oil company is paying to fix a government-created problem.