By Elizabeth Skree, Communications Manager, Environmental Defense Fund
Hurricane Katrina made landfall in coastal Louisiana on August 25, 2012. The storm was one of the most-damaging hurricanes on record, taking nearly 2,000 lives and causing over $80 billion in damage. A nation watched in horror as the city of New Orleans was destroyed, residents were stranded and chaos ensued. No one will ever forget what happened that day, and every year as the anniversary approaches, we are reminded of the power of Mother Nature.
We are also reminded of the need for increased storm protection to prevent a similar disaster. Louisiana has over three million acres of coastal wetlands. These wetlands provide natural storm protection by buffering storm surge and reducing inland flooding from hurricanes. Unfortunately, Louisiana is also losing its wetlands at an alarming rate: Every hour, a football field’s worth of wetlands disappears. As this land goes, so does natural storm protection, wildlife habitat, hunting and fishing grounds and a host of other benefits.
But all is not lost.
We have the opportunity to rebuild Louisiana’s wetlands, increase protection from future storms and turn the tide on coastal land loss.
This week, the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign will be remembering what happened seven years ago as well as looking forward to what can be done to provide a safer and sustainable future for Louisiana’s people and wildlife. “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to find out more about what can be done to restore Louisiana’s coast and protect us from another natural disaster.