(Baton Rouge, LA –June 9, 2015) In one of the lowest elevations of land in Louisiana, a mountain is beginning to emerge. It’s not marsh that has suddenly been thrust toward the sky, but rather a mountain of oyster shells that have been collected by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s (CRCL) Oyster Shell Recycling Program. As we mark the one year anniversary of the program, CRCL is proud to announce that its Oyster Shell Recycling Program is officially the largest in the nation. Click here for the full press release.
In the past 75 years, more than 2,300 square miles of coastal Louisiana have been converted to open water by natural processes and human activity. Roughly translated, this is an area of wetlands equivalent to the state of Delaware that has simply disappeared.
Human alteration of this landscape has accelerated much of Louisiana’s coastal land-loss. Levees built to facilitate and maintain navigation and flood protection along the Mississippi River have choked off the rich sediment that once built and replenished wetlands. Additionally, thousands of miles of oil and gas pipelines and canals that provide essential energy to the nation slice through Louisiana’s wetlands, hastening the erosion of this sediment starved landscape.
Despite these obstacles, it is still possible to restore Louisiana’s coastal landscape to a sustainable and productive state. But we must act now. Without immediate and decisive action, Louisiana will continue to lose land at an alarming rate, potentially losing an additional 1,000 square miles of land by the year 2050.
The loss of coastal Louisiana is perhaps the largest preventable environmental crisis in America and CRCL is committed to restoring and protecting a sustainable, vibrant and productive coastal Louisiana. Click here to see more about CRCL.