LOUISIANA’S COAST DISAPPEARING
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Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:07
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For the past 75 years, concern over the disappearance of Louisiana’s coast has increased dramatically. Over one million acres of barrier marshes have been lost since 1900. Many studies have been made as to how best to

how best to stem the terrible loss of this protective land. Storm surges are invading the coastal areas, home to over 1/3 of Louisiana’s population. As the land disappears, future tides creep further and further inland.

The most commonly accepted cause of this disappearance is that before levees along the Mississippi River were built in the early 20th Century, the river would flood during the spring months, overflowing it’s banks and depositing tons of rich silt to the lower areas of the state. This fresh water and silt provided much-needed nutrients to vegetation and trees that thrived with this annual event. The area and elevation of protective lands buffering these storm surges was maintained.

With increased population throughout the 19th Century, the plan to protect inhabitants from the annual river flooding was devised. And so a great levee system was constructed along both sides of the Mississippi. This event virtually eliminated the annual replenishment of soil and fresh water to the lower lying areas. Saltwater intrusion has now occurred, killing vegetation and allowing tidal and storm actions to remove more and more soil exposing the coast to a dramatic land loss at a rate of over 34 acres per year!

The people of Louisiana have been pleading their case for over 50 years and are desperatly hoping that whatever federal assistance that takes place, is before a major catastrophic event occurs.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:32