Saturday, July 4, 2009

Louisiana group targets coastal erosion

Claire Taylor in the Daily Advertiser (Louisiana): Volunteers from Lake Charles to New Orleans got their hands - and feet - dirty last week working to restore and protect Louisiana's eroding coast. The 40 to 60 volunteers spent all or part of the week up to their waists in water and mud at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron and Vermilion parishes.

They planted more than 10,000 plugs of oyster grass along canal banks that are washing away from the waves of boats and hurricanes, endangering levees, biologist George Melancon with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said. "It's important to get people involved. It saves the state money by having these volunteers come out. It's good for coastal restoration," Melancon said. "You're actually doing something to recover from the damages that are occurring every day along the coast."

When Rockefeller Refuge was donated to the state in the 1920s, it encompassed about 86,000 acres. Today, it is down to about 72,000 acres, he said. "We're losing 40 to 50 linear feet of beach a year," Melancon said. The refuge can lose that much and more in a single day when hurricanes like Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 strike, he added.

Louisiana's coast was reduced by 211 square miles between August and September 2005 by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, said Steven Peyronnin, executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana….Projects like this one provide immediate benefits and help residents learn more about the problems and solutions involved in coastal restoration, he said….

A 1778 map of the coast of Louisiana and Florida

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in coastal restoration efforts should get involved with America's WETLAND: Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana. The foundation works to raise public awareness of the impact Louisiana’s wetland loss has on the state, nation and world and to gain support for efforts to conserve and save coastal Louisiana. They need our support!

Check out their Web site:

Join their Facebook group:

Watch fascinating videos on their YouTube channel: