The Science Program of CRCL includes a range of interdisciplinary projects that address coastal land loss and fisheries. Rapid land loss (42.9 km2 y-1 from 1985 to 2010; Couvillion et al. 2011) has led to Louisiana accounting for 80% of total coastal wetland loss in the U.S. (Boesch et al. 1994). Humans have altered the coastal ecosystem for centuries through levees, impoundments, canals, and river diversions. The coastal wetlands of Louisiana help supply one of the largest commercial fishing industries in the nation and with that nearly 30,000 jobs (National Marine Fisheries Service 2010). Many livelihoods are dependent on the resiliency of Louisiana’s marshes and the health of the coastal ecosystem is dependent on the adaptive management capacity of humans.
Photo Credit: Diane Huhn
Land Loss &
Knowing the historical resiliency of a system and how it has changed with human impact, as well as how the system responds to disturbances, is important in determining strategies for restoration and management.