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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








LA DNR Coastal Facts  

The Crisis:
  • LA contains approximately 40% of the nation's wetlands and experiences 90% of the coastal wetland loss in the lower 48 states.

  • 60% of Louisiana’s land loss occurs in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins

  • LA is losing 25 to 35 square miles of wetlands per year and the highest rates are occurring in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins at 10 and 11 square miles per year.

  • At current land loss rates, nearly 640,000 more acres, an area nearly the size of Rhode Island, will be under water by 2050.

Economic Impacts to LA and the Nation:
  • LA’s coast is a “working coast,” supporting critical infrastructure such as highways, ports, pipelines and navigational waterways of national economic significance. Without coastal restoration, people and businesses that power the nation will be forced to retreat from coastal Louisiana, resulting in severe economic consequences to the nation.

  • Infrastructure along coastal LA is estimated at $150 billion.

  • LA’s coast has world ecological significance with an abundance of fisheries, wildlife and waterfowl, and also serves as a critical migratory flyway.LA's wetland loss could cost the nation $36.6 billion from lost public use value over the next 50 years.

  • 18% of U.S. Oil Production; 24% of US natural gas production originates, is transported through, or is processed in LA coastal wetlands.
    - One fourth of our nation's energy supply depends on the support facilities in South Louisiana.
    - LA's oil and natural gas industries have a value exceeding $16 billion a year.

  • Over 20,000 miles of pipelines are located in federal offshore lands and thousands more inland.
    - Wetlands protect pipelines from waves and insure that the lines stay buried in place.
    - When pipelines are exposed to more waves and storms, it becomes more likely that they will pose a threat to passing water traffic.

  • With 500 million tons of waterborne cargo passing through Louisiana's system of deep-draft ports and navigational channels, Louisiana ranks first in the nation in total shipping tonnage.
    - If present land loss rates continue, more than 155 miles of waterways and several of the ports will be exposed to open water within 50 years.

  • LA's commercial fisheries are the most bountiful of the lower 48 states, providing 25 - 35% of the nation's total catch. LA is first in the annual harvest of oysters, shrimp, crabs crawfish, red snapper, wild catfish, sea trout and mullet.
    - By 2050, the annual loss of commercial fisheries will be nearly $550 million. For recreational fisheries, the total loss will be close to $200 million a year.

  • Wetlands and barrier islands provide a protection barrier from strong winds and hurricanes: every 2.7 miles of wetlands absorbs one foot of storm surge.

  • Data from past hurricanes indicates that the loss of every one-mile strip of wetlands along the coast, results in an estimated $5,752,816 average annual increase in property damage.

  • Between 60 and 70% of LA's population lives within 50 miles of the coast. Without adequate coastal restoration and protection, 2 million people are left vulnerable to life-threatening storms and hurricanes.


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© Restore or Retreat, Inc.
P.O. Box 2048-NSU
Thibodaux, La 70310
985.448.4485


2012