Reducing flood damage in coastal Louisiana: Communities, culture & commerce
This newsletter is the product of the Conceptual Ecological Model workshop, held in Louisiana in November, 2005. Coastal Louisiana is home to the nation’s largest port complex in both tonnage and infrastructure, and produces or transports nearly one-third of the nation’s oil and gas supply. In addition, the coastal Louisiana ecosystem provides nationally-important fish and wildlife habitat that supports the nation’s second-largest commercial fishery and over $1 billion per year in recreational fishing and hunting revenues. All of these activities are supported in Louisiana because of the close proximity of its skilled workforce to the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal land loss has placed these economic and natural resources at increased risk of loss due to the intense effects of waves and storm surges from hurricanes. Restoration of the coastal ecosystem can work synergistically with levees and floodgates to provide an integrated flood protection system that allows continued resource production and sustains the ecosystem services on which the nation relies.