During the last 78 years, the Louisiana coastal area has suffered an annual loss of 16 square miles—that’s as much as a whole football field in less than an hour. The Guardian recently examined whether New Orleans is becoming a “modern-day Atlantis.” Here’s Jeff Hebert, director of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the city’s chief resilience officer from the article:
One of the main culprits of this land loss is the man-made levees built to protect residents from Mississippi River flooding—the very same ones that gave out during Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, causing devastation and displacement that people are still reeling from today. These levees stop fresh water and sediment from caking the delta. This lack of sediment, along with canals dug to reach oil and gas wells and rising sea levels, has caused sea water to seep inwards, submerging 25 percent of coastal land since 1932.