The last few weeks serve as another reminder of the tremendous power of wind and water – and the critical importance of protecting our coast.
Louisiana’s coastal wetlands provide our cities and people a critical line of defense against storms. We continue to lose these wetlands at a rate of a football field of land every 100 minutes, but we’re on the edge of action to protect ourselves. We are embarking upon what is expected to be the largest environmental restoration project in our nation’s history. The state is working to break ground on the first major project to re-connect the Mississippi River to our starving wetlands, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, by 2020. The importance of this project cannot be overstated. Sediment diversions are the cornerstone approach of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. We need to start building without delay. Read Press Release. Read Report.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in conjunction with Shell Oil Company (Shell) have announced a major grant award for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) to build its second oyster reef using recycled oyster shell from New Orleans area restaurants. The $250,000 award will be used to build a half-mile long living shoreline along the western edge of Barataria Bay.
“We have collected a mountain of oyster shell from New Orleans restaurants. With this support, CRCL will use the recycled shell—shell that would have ended up in landfills—to build another reef,” said CRCL Executive Director, Kimberly Reyher. “This is important because oyster reefs act as speed bumps for storms -- they provide an important line of defense for our city.” Click here to read full press release.
(NEW ORLEANS – June 12, 2017) Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released updated maps depicting net land loss and land gain in Louisiana since 1932. These maps show that the rate of land loss has slowed in recent years, largely due to decreased hurricane activity and the advancement of coastal restoration projects, such as the Lake Hermitage and Bayou Dupont wetland construction programs. While the previous USGS assessment showed Louisiana was losing an average of one football field of land every hour, the new maps show that, from 2010-2016, the state now is losing an average of one football field every 100 minutes. Since 1932, Louisiana has lost more than 2,000 square miles of land – nearly the size of the state of Delaware. See full press release
Baton Rouge, LA—June 2, 2017) Today, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved, SCR1, a resolution approving the 2017 Coastal Master Plan. With this vote, the third iteration of the State’s Coastal Master Plan has been approved by both chambers of the Louisiana State Legislature and can begin to be implemented. See full press release.
Prior to its leveeing and control structures, the Mississippi switched course roughly every 600 to 1,000 years, finding a more efficient route to the Gulf of Mexico as it filled with sediment. Over the course of its history, the Mississippi has had 6 Holocene delta complexes, including the most recent Atchafalaya. Each delta complex experiences stages of compaction, subsidence, and building. This delta switching, combined with the high sediment load (7th highest in the world), has resulted in the current wetland rich Louisiana coast, with 30,000 km2 of delta plain and 41% of the coastal wetland area of the United States. Read More