This one is for my friends and readers who don’t live here in South Louisiana.
Do me a favor. Please.
First, when you’ve got a few minutes to spare, take a look at this interactive multimedia presentation. It requires Flash and you’ll want to have your speakers turned on.
(For extra credit, you can read the three part series from the Times-Picayune.)
Then, please share that link with others.
See, it’s like this. We’ve known for a while that coastal Louisiana is disappearing at an alarming rate. But scientists are now saying we’ve got much less time than we thought. They’re saying ten years or less before the land loss becomes irreversible. We’re now losing the equivalent of a football field every 45 minutes. In short order, we will have an ecological disaster of epic proportions, not just for those who live here, but for America as a whole. As the paper says:
The entire nation would reel from the losses. The state’s coastal wetlands, the largest in the continental United States, nourish huge industries that serve all Americans, not just residents of southeastern Louisiana. Twenty-seven percent of America’s oil and 30 percent of its gas travels through the state’s coast, serving half of the nation’s refinery capacity, an infrastructure that few other states would welcome and that would take years to relocate. Ports along the Mississippi River, including the giant Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana in LaPlace, handle 56 percent of the nation’s grain shipments. And the estuaries now rapidly turning to open water produce half of the nation’s wild shrimp crop and about a third of its oysters and blue claw crabs. Studies show destruction of the wetlands protecting the infrastructure serving those industries would put $103 billion in assets at risk.
The fix is mind-bogglingly expensive. Of course it is peanuts compared to what we are spending in Iraq, but the obstacles to spending this money here are enormous. We need to come together as a nation to do this. And that’s why I’m asking you to check out the above links, and share them with others. We need to get evangelical about this.