The Mississippi River Delta sustains enormous populations of wildlife, has given birth to some of our country’s most distinctive cultures and traditions, and has made possible America’s rise as a global superpower through innovative economic development.
But over the last 200 to 300 years, human alterations of the river system have caused the delta to collapse. Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost about 1,900 square miles of land—land that has disappeared into open water. Recent catastrophes, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, exacerbated the coastal crisis and were also made much worse because of it. As the delta disappears, so does the natural protection it provides.
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