Louisiana River Geography

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Louisiana’s Gulf Coast is eroding into the sea, and by 2100 most of Southeast Louisiana could be completely underwater. Not only does this threaten human and animal habitats, but also the energy, shipping, fishing, and tourist industries that have made this region of the U.S. a valuable part of the national economy (Marshall, 2014). In the past 200 years, half of the nation’s wetland habitats have been lost due to natural and manmade processes. Louisiana’s wetlands make up 40 percent of the total wetlands in the continental United States. 80 percent of losses, nationally, are of Louisiana’s coast (Williams). Man and nature have worked together to reshape the environment in coastal Louisiana. The Mississippi slows when it reaches the…show more content…
Many communities are suffering due to coastal erosion. One example is the village of Cocodrie, LA in Terrebonne Parish. This village’s small population and its 220 residential and commercial buildings are surrounded by marshes. In Cocodrie, there is no barrier against hurricanes. Local marinas play host to recreational and commercial fishing, and The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium is located in Cocodrie. This facility of around 100,000 square ft houses laboratories, classrooms, and a research center. Infrastructure that will be affected by coastal erosion includes paved highway, dirt roads, a bridge, water supply systems, and natural gas lines. By 2050, Cocodrie will be surrounded by open water as the marshlands around the village give way to rising sea levels. Another community affected by this issue is Yscloskey, LA in St. Bernard Parish. The most important part of the economy here is fishing, and highways link the parish to New Orleans fishing communities. The Yscloskey area lies outside of the protective levees and is quite vulnerable to storms. Though losses in Yscloskey are not predicted to be as great as those in Cocodrie, a 16 percent loss by 2050 leaves the infrastructure of Yscloskey even more vulnerable (Coast 2050, 1998, p. 64-66). Local residents in these areas are watching the land disappear along with the beachfronts and Cyprus swamps that were on that land (Marshall, 2014). The
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