NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Louisiana has been losing land for decades, but for the first time the state has billions of dollars from the BP oil spill to solve the problem.
The most common estimate is that Louisiana loses about the equivalent of a football field every 90 minutes. But this is not a constant.
In a few years, thanks to coastal restoration projects, the state could actually gain some land. And in years when there are major disasters, the results can be devastating.
The US Geological Survey estimates that Hurricane Ida devastated more than 100 square miles of land, making 2021 a year of significant land loss. Much of the western side of Barataria Bay has been damaged.
Following: Satellite imagery suggests that Hurricane Ida caused significant damage to parts of the Louisiana coast
For coastal Louisiana, the challenges are many. There is not one cause behind the loss of two thousand square miles in less than a century.
The delta, disconnected from the river, sinks several meters in some places.
The changes taking place on the Louisiana coast are just outside of our perception.
Louisiana is sinking and, as scientists warn, the sea is rising at an accelerating rate, threatening to flood even more land.
CTE IN CRISIS
Hurricane Ida is a reminder of how Louisiana’s coast is changing
Hurricane Ida dealt a heavy blow to Louisiana’s “floating swamp”
The state is fighting back with billions of dollars, including dredging projects that build islands and swamps almost instantly.
The most ambitious projects would reconnect nature’s plumbing, funneling water from the river into the swamp in hopes of mimicking the land-building powers of the Mississippi.
Commercial fishermen and others worried about negative effects on marine life are pushing back.
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