LSU study looks at Basin differently…

This story:

and this report:

look at the differences in coastal land loss in the Atchafalaya and Terrebonne Basins from a different perspective that is worth studying.

Robert Twilley, et. al., from LSU Oceanography & Sea Grant have noted that the Basin has been an exception in the study of coastal land loss. The concentration of Mississippi River Sediment maintained the land building in the Basin that has been lost in those areas starved of sediment by the blockage of levees and locks that prevent the annual flooding and subsequent replenishment of the LA coast. In some areas, the land building effects have been exagerated but that is not unlike the way that the process worked before human intervention. Areas with more consistent flow built up faster than others and then the River shifted its course to a lower path. The big difference is that we have limited its options and blocked some areas from natural progression in order to force more water to move faster through the remaining paths.

My take: Without the historic options to allow natural redistribution of sediment along the coast, the remaining land needs more help to stay above water. Flood control begets ecosystem fragmentation, which reduces environmental resilience. More food for thought…where is the balance?

Thanks to April Newman for flagging this story in her Atchafalaya Basin Bulletin.