Land Loss In Louisiana

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Over the past century or so, twenty-two of the fifty states have lost an average of fifty percent of their wetlands, however, Louisiana’s total loss is over ninety percent of the nation’s total. What is somewhat different about Louisiana’s land loss is that it is natural. The land it was built on is naturally inclined to sink over the years. The real problem with this in the last century, is that land is now being lost far faster than it can be replaced. This loss ranges from 0.1 to 11.1 square miles, depending on the place.
Louisiana’s rate of loss per year is estimated to be about twenty kilometers/year, or about twenty-four square miles. Even more land is being lost as storms hit harder and harder without the protection wetlands bring. The land reduces storm surges, every 2.7 miles of wetlands reducing storm surge by one foot. As these wetlands are disappearing, the storm surges are increasing, washing more and more of the wetlands away. This is especially distressing because about half of Louisiana’s population lives by the coast, and 60-70% of Louisiana’s people (about two million people) will be at risk without the coast.
Furthermore, wetlands are not just people and animal’s homes. This land is a great asset to
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Twenty-four square miles of highly valued wetlands are being lost per year, which roughly equates to a football field going underwater every thirty minutes. Overall, healthier wetlands would have dramatically reduced damage caused by Katrina and Rita because they have the ability to reduce storm surges, loss of life, and property damage. Kerry St Pe puts the importance in this sense wonderfully in her statement, made to the BBC (British Broadcasting Network) in 2005: “We’ve always said that the cost of not restoring this system was far greater than the cost of restoring it... These two hurricanes [Katrina and Rita] proved that we were absolutely

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