September 30, 2016
The death knell for Louisiana’s wetlands was first sounded in the 1920s after heavy destruction from two different hurricanes and the need to protect Americans from the mighty Mississippi River. The need for container ships to transport goods up and down the great river without running aground tolled that bell even louder. Levees, designed to scour shipping channels, were constructed up and down the river and have worked as intended. What was either not foreseen or else ignored was the long-term result. The river’s flow was sped up essentially blocking sediment from flowing toward its eventually resting place — the marshes of south Louisiana.