The Mississippi River Delta

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Nevertheless, the net result between the advancing deltas and the encroaching sea generally has been an overall increase in the size of the recent coastal plain. The delta cycle contains the natural process of land loss and land gain. This process formed the bays, bayous, coastal wetlands, and barrier islands that make up the coastline of Louisiana. The Mississippi River Delta has formed six delta complexes that are significant depositional elements of a delta plain. The six complexes are as follows: the Maringouin, the Teche, the St. Bernard, the Lafourche, the modern day development of the Plaquesmine-Balize, and the Wax Lake outlet (Coleman, Roberts and Stone 701).
The Mississippi River Delta provides an array of natural habitats and resources
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Before the start of human development, Mississippi River sediments and nutrients, forming new wetlands, replaced natural wetland loss. The swamps and marshlands of the delta are ecologically substantial to the immediate area, but the river is economically fundamental to the United States, a shipping transporter that runs right through the middle of the nation. Because of this, beginning in the late 19th century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building manmade levees along the Mississippi River to direct silt and sediment near the ocean to clear a path for the shipping lanes for boats. This has been beneficial in keeping the Mississippi River clear for boats, but along with navigation channels and pipelines laid by energy firms, the levee accumulation has led to runoff and erosion that has damaged plant life and land at the edge of the river. Human undertakings have the unfortunate side effect of causing Mississippi River sediments to go straight down the river's channel and into the Gulf of Mexico (Farber 147). Human reformations in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands also include draining and filling for urban or agricultural expansion, which contribute to the premature and accelerated loss of…show more content…
A natural levee is a long, broad, low ridge or embankment of sand and coarse silt built by a river on its floodplain and along banks of its channel, especially in time of flood when water overflowing the normal banks is forced to deposit the coarsest part of its load. Wetlands serve as nature's first line of protection by engrossing much of the destruction generated due to hurricanes. In the aftershock of Hurricane Katrina, one of the lessons absorbed is that a healthy system of wetlands between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico would have almost undoubtedly slowed down the storm and diminished the storm surge. However, without natural storm barriers, breaks in levees could become an even greater

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