If Louisiana doesn’t act with urgency to preserve its coast, then parts of coastal Louisiana could reach a tipping point at which the cost of preservation becomes too high to bear.
We were reminded of this stark reality by the news that the National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.5 million grant to faculty members at LSU to investigate the long-term prospects for coastal communities where land loss, subsidence, sea-level rise, flooding, hurricanes and oil spills have had a major impact for years. Research will focus on the Lower Mississippi River Basin in Louisiana.
The research group will study areas north of Lake Pontchartrain and compare them to areas south of the lake. Economy and population have grown in the northern part of the study area over the past decade, while the southern part surrounding New Orleans has faced population and economic decline. The findings from the study will be used to help policymakers determine the best way to preserve much of the coast and its communities.
We’re glad that some of LSU’s best minds have been engaged to consider the future of the coastal area near New Orleans. Louisiana’s economic and cultural promise is strongly tied to its coastal regions, which is why the results of the NSF study should be of interest to residents far beyond the Gulf of Mexico.
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