Map: 217 square miles of coastal land loss
It's later than we thought in coastal Louisiana:
"We had a 50-year projection for wetlands loss as part of the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration plan," said USGS scientist Jimmy Johnston., referring to the proposed $1.2 billion collection of restoration projects still awaiting congressional approval. "Guess what? That's outdated. We went through 40 percent of that loss with these storm events."
More maps at the USGS.
More recently in the TP:
Even as the timber industry pushes into the swamps to eke another round of logging from forests last harvested a century ago, the tree-killing waters of the Gulf of Mexico are seeping ever deeper into areas such as the Maurepas Swamp, a sprawling wetlands that encircles Lake Maurepas in St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa, Livingston and Ascension parishes. Traveling inland through canals cut for shipping and oil and gas exploration, the invading spike of salt water has turned tens of thousands of acres of cypress stands into an ecological wasteland of dead and dying trees. ...
State forestry officials estimate south Louisiana's cypress forests are cut at the rate of 8,000 to 10,000 acres a year.
The oil industry appears to be succeeding in exonerating itself from blame for wetland loss:
I looked foward to the release of "Hurricane on the Bayou" in the hope that it would help the country better understand the situation that has left us so vulnerable to hurricanes and storm surge. I assumed the film would cover the impact of canal dredging that supported the extraction of oil from our coast. That is the major contributor to the wetlands loss that has left us so vulnerable.
Unfortunately, the filmmakers left that out completely and attributed wetlands loss entirely to the building of levees along the Mississippi River.
The movie's funding, in large part, was provided by Louisiana, whose "America's Wetlands" campaign was funded by the oil industry. It looks like the oil industry has bought silence from the state and from the filmmakers.
S.M.G., New Orleans (from the print edition of the Lagniappe, 10/13/06)
Meanwhile, DO NOT BUY CYPRESS MULCH! And tell your gardening supplies store that if it keeps selling cypress mulch, it'll be in the Gulf of Mexico one of these days.
President Bush: Category 5 storm protection and coastal restoration now!
Curious George's Jackson Square speech redux
Craig Romero isn't right for Louisiana
Save cypress forests
Let's hire the Dutch!
Update on Vitter provision that will endanger the ivory-billed woodpecker's habitat
Independent, objective science
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