Wetlands and barrier islands form a natural buffer zone that absorbs storm surge and blunts the force of high winds. Scientists estimate that approximately 2.7 square miles of wetlands are capable of absorbing one foot of storm surge.
As Louisiana’s barrier islands and wetlands vanish, more than 2 million people will be exposed to stronger tropical storms and hurricanes.
The frequency of flooding along Louisiana’s coastal zone has already caused multiple insurance companies to leave the market — or liquidate. If we do not change our present course and rebuild this buffer zone, severe flooding will endanger all long-term investments in south Louisiana — residential, commercial and industrial.
Our coastal wetlands and beaches are a component of the multiple lines of defense that protect our communities, as important to our storm protection as the floodgates and levees and other infrastructure.