The erosion of Louisiana’s coastline is a crisis for us all. It is estimated that every day the state of Louisiana alone loses as much as a football field in land. Unfortunately, funding for projects to counteract this crisis is limited. Now more than ever, we need affordable, sustainable solutions to protect and restore our coastlines.
3 Problems Erosion Causes for Landowners
The most obvious problem erosion is causing for coastal landowners is the loss of land. However, the loss of land is really not just a problem for landowners; the effects of erosion spreads to people far from the coast.
- 1. Erosion makes us more vulnerable to flooding and storm surge. Wetlands provide a buffer for storms and foods. A loss of land leaves us with less protection, making us increasingly more vulnerable to natural disasters.
- – 7 miles of wetlands reduces a storm surge by one foot.*
- – The loss of every one-mile strip of wetlands along the coast results in an estimated $5,752,816 average annual increase in property damage. *
- – Between 60-70% of Louisiana’s population (over 2 million people) live within 50 miles of the coast and become vulnerable without coastal wetland protection.*
- 2. Erosion poses a threat to a profitable fishing industry. Louisiana wetlands provide abundant wildlife and fisheries. By 2050, it is estimated that the annual loss in commercial fisheries due to eroding wetlands will be nearly $550 million.*
- – Louisiana is one of the largest habitats in the world for migratory waterfowl.*
- – 95% of all marine species in the Gulf of Mexico spend all or part of their lifecycle in Louisiana wetlands.*
- – 86% of Gulf of Mexico sport and commercial fish species are dependent on coastal wetlands for survival.*
- – Louisiana’s wetlands are home to some species that are on the endangered or threatened list.*
- – Louisiana’s commercial fisheries are the most bountiful of the lower 48 states and more than 30% of the nation’s commercial catch comes from Louisiana.*
- – Louisiana is first in the annual harvest of oysters, shrimp, crabs, crawfish, red snapper, wild catfish, sea trout and mullet. *
- 3. Erosion is a threat to the natural gas and oil industry. In fact, 25% of the energy supply of the entire nation depends on the support facilities in south Louisiana. As our wetlands and barrier islands continue to disappear, the wells, pipelines, ports and roads that make the energy industry possible will be more exposed to open water, wave action, storm surges and water traffic. Erosion will lead to more vulnerable pipelines, resulting in ruptures, oil spills and gas leaks, and billions of assets at risk.*
- – Louisiana is home to the natural gas and oil industry with a value exceeding $16 billion a year. *
- – 18% of the U.S. oil and 24% of the natural gas originates and is processed or transported through Louisiana coastal wetlands.*
3 Cost-effective Solutions We’ve Engineered for Landowners
Because we’re passionate about the land we love and we want to protect our coastlines, we’ve engineered innovative, cost effective solutions that are producing results. The following are lightweight solutions that protect existing shorelines, create new marsh and restore wetland habitats:
- – The Floating Breakwater is a floating wave attenuator that utilizes recycled materials and vegetation to create a sustainable green infrastructure product.
- – Vegetated EcoShield®is a living shoreline product that compliments flood protection by reducing wave energies and extending the life of shorelines, levee systems, berms, and terraces.
- – EcoBale is a breakwater for reducing waves and trapping sediments. It is lightweight yet durable enough to withstand high energy environments.
We believe that our wetlands are worth investing in and worth protecting. Coastal restoration makes good business sense, and we can all play a part in saving our coast. If you would like learn more about our partnerships for coastal restoration, habitat restoration, and water quality improvement, give us a call at 225.292.6750.
*Information in this article provided by: https://www2.southeastern.edu/orgs/oilspill/wetlands.html