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» Projects Under Evaluation for LA 2012 Coastal Master Plan (map).

» Projects Under Evaluation for LA 2012 Coastal Master Plan (list).

» Coastal wetlands flooding in southeast Louisiana, pre- and post-Katrina.

»How Are Louisiana Wetlands Changing? 2011 USGS Landloss Data

Louisiana loses 25 to 35 square miles of land a year, nearly a football field every hour.

By 2050, Louisiana is projected to lose approximately 640,000 acres of coastal marshes, swamps and barrier islands.

Louisiana's dwindling coast is the entry point for 16 percent of this nation's energy supply and home to $150 billion in public infrastructure.

Louisiana is home to 40 percent of the nation's wetlands, and 80 percent of all coastal wetland loss in the continental United States occurs right here. In fact, since 1930, the state has lost over 1,500 square miles of wetlands to the encroaching salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the loss continues every minute of every day. We are literally losing the ground beneath our feet.

Washing Away:
Historic and Projected Erosion
Along Louisiana's Coast

Louisiana's coastal wetlands have always experienced natural subsidence as the mud that built them sinks under its own weight. But before levees were built to establish navigation along the Mississippi River in the early 20th century, the wetlands were replenished with freshwater and silt during the river's spring floods and continually rebuilt. Today, these nutrients are deposited in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River, starving the nearby wetlands that not only provide much to the state but protect it from storms and hurricanes.

And as we watch our coastal wetlands disappear, we face very real threats to the future of not only this state and the people who live and work here, but threats to the economic future of this entire nation.

  • As wetlands turn to open water, reducing their ability to impede approaching storms, the risk of catastrophic loss of life and property from hurricanes is greatly increased.
  • Louisiana's wetlands are home to critical energy infrastructure that services 16 percent of the entire U.S. foreign and domestic energy supply.
  • As wetlands and barrier islands disappear, the wells, pipelines, ports and roads that make the energy industry possible will be exposed to open water.
  • The loss of wetlands jeopardizes 30 percent of American seafood production.
Louisiana's wetlands are America's Wetlands, built by flood waters that, for centuries has drained 41 percent of the United States. It's clear that erosion of these wetlands is not just a state problem. It's the greatest natural disaster occurring in our nation, and it requires immediate national attention to avoid catastrophic losses from coast to coast.

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