Louisiana coastal land loss video release

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Today, the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center is pleased to announce the release of a new Louisiana coastal land loss video, detailing key findings portrayed in its new coastal map.

This new video illustrates findings from the new Coastal Louisiana Land Area Change Map. The map will afford opportunities to better understand the timing and causes of coastal wetlands loss. This information is critical for forecasting landscape changes in the future.

Over the past 78 years, Louisiana has suffered from extreme coastal land changes. Since 1932, Coastal Louisiana has lost over 1,883 square miles of wetland area, equaling the size of Delaware. Overall, Louisiana has experienced more coastal land loss than that of all 48 contiguous states combined.

“The rate of wetland loss from 1985-2010 has averaged 16.6 square miles each year,” said Brady Couvillion, USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer. “If this loss were to occur at a constant rate, it would equate to losing more than a football field every hour.”

The USGS National Wetlands Research Center released their scientific findings earlier this summer before a joint Natural Resources and Environmental Committee meeting held at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La.

Public awareness and understanding is crucial to the future and sustainability of Coastal Louisiana. “Coastal Louisiana wetlands are critical to the economy, security and well-being of our entire North American continent,” said Phil Turnipseed, Director of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center. “These wetlands truly are one of America’s greatest treasures.”

The USGS National Wetlands Research Center continues to research new methods to solve this crisis. “Scientists at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center continually strive to improve methods, models, monitoring and expertise, needed by decision makers to remediate and save our rapidly disappearing coastal zone,” said Turnipseed.

To learn more about the new USGS Coastal Louisiana Land Area Change Map and video visit: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3164/. Contact Gabrielle B. Bodin at (337) 266-8655 or boding@usgs.gov for more information.