Louisiana residents are worried about losing their home near the coastline since Hurricane Katrina, but one state agency is hoping to restore the marshes and wetlands that protects Louisiana from disaster.
“We’ll look at the maps even just to go fishing,” Chase Doiron, biology sophomore at Louisiana State University, said. “You get to the water, and it’s completely different. These maps were made 5 or 6 years ago.”
Doiron lived in Houma before attending Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Doiron’s grandmother’s neighborhood would usually flood during the heavy rain. He said that the street is a nightmare to drive in, because no vehicle can drive through the flooding.
John Fussell, an environmental engineering junior at LSU, said that Louisiana could be a wasteland if there’s no action put towards protecting the environment.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority was formed after Hurricane Katrina to focus on restoring and protecting the Louisiana coastline. The marshes were sinking into the Gulf of Mexico due the lack of sediments coming from the Mississippi River.
“You lose your coast, and you lose your buffer,” CPRA Public Information Director Chuck Perrodin said. “The storms that hit New Orleans get to be more deadly than ever.”
Louisiana has been losing 16 square miles of land per year, which is equivalent to the length of a football field per hour. The CPRA’s efforts at restoring land have replaced 15,000 football fields worth of land since hurricane Katrina. CPRA has recreated the barrier islands to protect the marshes that protect the state. Also, the CPRA has brought in sediments from the Mississippi River to strengthen the marshes and replace nutrients needed to avoid sinking.
Perrodin said that the Coastal Master Plan was scientifically proven to work. However, residents like Doiron are worried about the state of the towns near the coast in the long run.