Loosing Ground

This is a post that is very different from most I have done.  It is not about photography, travel, birding or any of my other adventures.  It is about the loss, the accelerating loss of land in South East Louisiana.  I spend a lot of time in the costal marshes and have been aware of the fact that we have been loosing land in our marshes for many years.  I saw small openings in the marsh between marsh ponds or larger lake size water enlarge to allow 30' shrimp boats passage in a matter of months or a year.  I heard that this was happening all over S.E. La. but I never connected with the larger picture.  A few weeks ago I attended a panel discussion titled Loosing Ground.  That discussion and the data provided shocked me.  In an article I wrote a number of years ago I  said that if you went to sleep at night and all the land that was lost in S.E. La. was outside your door your house would be on an island surrounded by a lake that was several football fields large.  According to a 2011 Times Picayune article the loss now is approximately 1 football field size loss per hour. USGS says "Louisiana's 3 million acres of wetlands are lost at the rate about 75 square kilometers annually, but reducing these losses is proving to be difficult and costly."

How difficult and how costly were discussed in Loosing Ground panel discussion.  Information on the subject of S.E. La. land loss is easy to find on the internet.  Here is a graphic showing the land loss.  It describes the loss of land in S.E. La. in a manner that will shock you.  You might be impressed by the mapping techniques they used.  The panel discussion I mentioned included some of the principles who gathered the data and produced the program.  I was impressed.  I was discouraged.  My assessment of the situation is such that if I was planning to bring a business or my family to South East. La.  I would expand my search to another part of the country or another part of Louisiana.

 


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