The Louisiana coast is an incredibly productive ecosystem largely because of Louisiana’s extensive wetlands. Numerous species of fish, birds, and invertebrates inhabit Louisiana’s coastal waters for a portion of their lives and some reside there for their entire life. Coastal Louisiana wetlands act as fishery nursery grounds, increasing productivity by providing foraging opportunities and protection from predation. The productivity of shrimp and blue crab, which support important commercial fisheries, is closely linked to the marsh.
The Louisiana commercial fishing industry is the most productive in the lower 48 states. Louisiana accounted for 13% of total US landings (by weight) and 8% of the total US landings revenue in 2016.
An estimated 825,000 people enjoy recreational fishing in Louisiana every year. Hurricane protection supplied by coastal wetlands alone has been estimated at over $23 billion dollars for the US. Additionally, Louisiana's 3 million acres of coastal wetlands provide habitat for over 5 million migratory waterfowl annually and also serve as a home to many endangered and threatened species.