Posted on December 22, 2022
ADDRESSING LOUISIANA’S LAND LOSS CRISIS
Between 1932 and 2016, coastal Louisiana‘s lost over 2,000 square miles of land. Between 2004 and 2008 alone, more than 300 square miles of marshland were lost to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike.
But why? There are several factors contributing to our severe and detrimental land loss crisis, including sea level rise, subsidence, saltwater intrusion, manmade contributions, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and subsequent response activities, and side effects of our current levee system. While our levees provide critically important flood protection to our coastal communities, they have also cut off the Mississippi River from Barataria Basin and Breton Sound Basin, restricting it from depositing sediment and nutrients into those basins. Without this natural process, our coast is starved of the nutrients and sediment needed to sustain healthy wetlands.