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Louisiana Finds Surprising Success in Fight Against Land Loss

Thirty years following the start of a project designed to build back land that was slowly being lost to the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana is celebrating a rare success.
November 8, 2016, 10am PST | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Todd Masson of the New Orleans Times-Picayunereports that a project launched in 1986 by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries continues to exceed expectations in new land creation in southern Louisiana. The Louisiana Crevasse Project involved cutting holes into natural levees in the Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area to allow sediment from the Mississippi River to flow into the sinking marshland. Since then, the department has been stunned by the ongoing land creation which may be a model for how the state can claw back land that has rapidly been sinking into the Gulf of Mexico.

This natural process of land creation comes at virtually no cost once the cut has been made and allows for a natural gradient of marsh to form. This low-cost restoration technique is unique as it continues to build additional acreage over time rather than eroding away. It is also the cheapest land-creation technique currently in the coastal-wetland-restoration toolbox, the department said. Having a marsh slowly and naturally recreate itself with varying elevations allows for more diversity in the species that use the habitat.
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Published on Thursday, November 3, 2016 in New Orleans Times-Picayune
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