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Louisiana is suffering from a coastal land loss crisis. For the past century, hurricanes and human activity have damaged our wetlands so severely that approximately 25% of the land area in 1932 has been converted into open water. The impacts of channelization, oil and gas infrastructure, subsidence, and sea level rise are compounded by alterations to the Mississippi River system that have starved Louisiana’s wetlands of crucial land-building sediment and freshwater. Because of this, we are losing coastal wetlands at an average rate of a football field every 100 minutes. Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are integral to our way of living, and these unique and vital ecological assets are worth saving.

Our wetlands provide natural resources, protection from storm damage, and flood control by holding excess flood waters during high rainfall. Wetlands even replenish aquifers and purify water by filtering out pollutants and absorbing nutrients. In addition to the ecosystem services they provide to humans, wetlands provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. Coastal Louisiana’s wetlands are the breeding grounds and nurseries for thousands of species of aquatic life, land animals, and birds of all kinds – including our national symbol, the bald eagle. These ecosystems also provide migratory habitat for over five million waterfowl each year and are important nursery grounds for several fisheries. As we lose our coastal wetlands, we lose these important ecological services that our communities rely on.


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Take the WaterMarks360 Virtual Field Trip of the Caminada Headlands. Learn about the economic and ecological importance of the barrier islands and what we do to protect them.

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About This Site

The Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act Program web site contains information and links relating to coastal restoration projects in coastal Louisiana. This site is funded by CWPPRA and is maintained by the USGS National Wetlands Research Center.