| Wetland loss has
plagued the US since European settlement and has resulted in the loss of
half the nation's historical wetland in the past 200 years. The Louisiana
coastal wetlands compose 40% of the wetland area in the continental United
States, but are suffering 80% of the loss. At the current rate of
degradation, this vast tract of wetland will disappear in another 200 years.
The Louisiana coastal wetlands cover 300 km of coastline and go as
far as 130 km inland. These wetlands are found at the base of the Mississippi
River, historically filtering sediment, nutrients, and pollutants from the
huge drainage basin covering 41% of the lower 48 states. The Louisiana
coastal wetlands are disappearing at a very alarming rate of 1 acre every
24 minutes, resulting in huge losses from the historic extent of approximately
4.5 million acres. Wetland loss can be a natural occurrence in the
deltaic cycle but this is far outweighed by anthropogenic impacts such as
wetland destruction and river channel alteration. The channelization
and control structures present on the rivers that feed the wetlands have
resulted in a loss of season flooding, the life-blood of the coastal wetlands.
This loss will have far-reaching impacts on the environmental and economic
health of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. This website will detail
the natural history and the human interactions of this vast and important
ecosystem. Please navigate this site to learn about the beauty and
importance of this system before it is lost.
Last updated: March 7th