Losing Ground in Louisiana
Coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta are losing land and marsh at an alarming rate. An average of a football field of wetlands vanishes into open water every 100 minutes. Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost over 2,000 square miles of land and wetlands, an area roughly the size of Delaware. Several factors have contributed to the problem including subsidence (natural sinking of land), sea level rise, drilling and dredging from the oil and gas industry, leveeing and diverting of the Mississippi River, and repeated storm surge from hurricanes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Louisiana's combination of rising waters and sinking and dissipating land give it one of the highest rates of relative sea level rise on the planet.