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The Science Issue and Relevance: Coastal wetlands are some of the most productive and valuable habitats in the world. Louisiana contains 40% of the United States’ coastal wetlands, which provide critical habitat for waterfowl and fisheries, as well as many other benefits, such as storm surge protection for coastal communities. In terms of ecosystem services, biological resource production, and infrastructure investments, the value of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands exceeds $100 billion. Thus, stakeholders are gravely concerned about sea-level rise which is causing coastal marsh habitat to convert to open water and resulting in the highest rates of wetland loss in the world, with nearly 1.2 million acres lost since...
Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost approximately 1,900 mi2 of land due to coastal erosion, land subsidence, and sea-level rise exacerbated by climate change, putting Native American archaeological sites along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast in danger of being destroyed. These cultural resources are crucial sources of information and represent the unique heritage of coastal Louisiana. Federal and State agency resource managers, coastal communities, and regional stakeholders would benefit from up-to-date science-based information on these endangered cultural resources and on climate-informed management options. In partnership with the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, a team of University archaeologists, climate scientists,...
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