Future Without Action
Predicted Land Change over the Next 50 Years
- Lost 1,880 square miles of land since the 1930’s
- Potential to lose an additional 1,750 square miles of land over the next 50 years
Louisiana is in the midst of a land loss crisis that has claimed 1,880 square miles of land since the 1930s. Given the importance of so many of south Louisiana’s assets—our waterways, natural resources, unique culture and wetlands—this land loss crisis is nothing short of a national emergency.
If we don’t aggressively address this crisis, the problem intensifies. Our analysis confirmed that if we do nothing more than what has been done to date, we have the potential to lose an additional 1,750 square miles of land. This land loss will increase flooding risk with disastrous effects. Put simply: the status quo cannot be maintained, and we must take bold action now to save our coast. At the same time, our analysis demonstrated that we do have the opportunity, if we act now, to avert an otherwise bleak future.
Barrier islands, marshes, and swamps throughout our coast reduce incoming storm surge, helping to reduce flooding impacts. If we continue to lose these habitats, the vulnerability of communities and infrastructure will increase substantially. In addition, our flood protection systems will become more vulnerable as the land around them erodes. Our analysis shows if we do nothing more than we have done to date, our estimated damage from flooding will increase from an average of $2.4 billion annually to an average of approximately $23.4 billion annually coast wide.