December 19, 2016

Photos Of Louisiana Land Loss That Will Shock You


These six shocking aerial views of Louisiana land loss tell the true story, and the truth is a tough pill to swallow.

Louisiana's wetlands are a national treasure. They yield amazing catches of crab, shrimp and oysters. For the bird enthusiasts, Louisiana is home to a multitude of birds who stay year round or simply use her wetlands as a resting point in their migration.

Our wetlands were built over eons by the Mississippi River.

She can be unruly and violent when her waters rise, so we came up with methods to keep her from threatening communities. One of those methods was to build levees to prevent her from flooding homes and businesses.

This cut her off from the marsh she used to build, an unintended consequence that causes Louisiana land loss.

Ever since then Louisiana's wetlands, especially her fresh and saltwater marshes, have been slowly dying.

Erosion is natural, but so is having that eroded land replaced.

With every turn of the tide a little more land is lost and the surges of powerful hurricanes accelerate this loss even further.

It is normal to have the Mississippi River build an estuary then abandon it and let it erode. But at the same time she would be building another one. She can't do that today by the way we have altered her.

Here are Six Shocking Aerial Views of Louisiana Land Loss

The Mouth of Bayou Biloxi

Bayou Biloxi is the main artery of the Biloxi Marsh, located in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. Once upon a time Bayou Biloxi emptied through its mouth in Lake Borgne.

Today, that mouth is gone due to Louisiana land loss and she is beginning to flow through what used to be her shoreline.

Biloxi Marsh 1989 old

Biloxi Marsh in 1989 - Click to Enlarge

How she flows into Lake Borgne has been forever changed and will continue to change as there is more Louisiana land loss.

Biloxi Marsh 2014 land erosion

Biloxi Marsh 2014 - Click to Enlarge

Raccourci Bayou in Dularge

Raccourci Bayou is an important passage way for boat traffic in Dularge, connecting Lake Mechant and Raccourci Bay. As you can imagine, a lot of water flows through here.

Without fresh sediment deposits to deter Louisiana land loss of this pass, increased water flow from storm surge has eroded away the inside of the bayou.

Raccourci Bayou 1990

Raccourci Bayou 1990 (Note the fishing camps along its shoreline) - Click to Enlarge

Take note of the fishing camps located inside the bends of the bayou, then look at the screenshot below and see how those same camps are now surrounded by water.

If it weren't for the pilings they were built on they would be completely lost to Louisiana land loss.

Raccourci Bayou 2015

Raccourci Bayou 2015 (note how some camps are no longer located on land, but in open water) - Click to Enlarge

Delacroix in Plaquemines Parish

Delacroix is world renown for its incredible inshore fishing and is arguably the redfish capital of the world, often sharing that title with other regions in Louisiana.

Delacroix has been victim to a freshwater diversion at Caernarvon designed to regulate salinity levels for oyster production.

The freshwater from the diversion weakened the root systems of existing marsh and made it easily destroyed by subsequent hurricanes, causing more Louisiana land loss.

Delacroix 1989

Delacroix 1989 - Click to Enlarge

Compare the satellite image from 1989 to the newer one in 2016. It is almost sickening to see how much Louisiana land loss has created open water.

Delacroix 2016

Delacroix 2016 - Click to Enlarge

Couba Island near Westwego

All of Louisiana is gorgeous, but if you haven't been to this area during the springtime then you are truly missing out.

The island, freshwater marsh and cypress swamps to the north are astoundingly beautiful.

Couba Island 1998

Couba Island 1998 - Click to Enlarge

Couba Island is another part of Louisiana's wetlands that is populated with fishing camps.

Unfortunately, like in Dularge, these camps have suffered at the hands of Louisiana land loss.

Couba Island 2016

Couba Island 2016 - Click to Enlarge

Deadman Island near Hopedale

I have heard this island earned it's namesake for its use by pirates who frequented the Louisiana coast.

Long ago, most likely when the island was much larger, unruly deckhands were drummed off the ship and left on this island to die, hence "Deadman" Island.

Deadman Island 1989

Deadman Island 1989 - Click to Enlarge

Surely the island has declined significantly since the heyday of wind-powered vessels, but it has certainly eroded very much in the relatively small amount of time between 1989 and 2015.

Deadman Island 2015

Deadman Island 2015 - Click to Enlarge

More Louisiana Land Loss: Hewes Point in Chandeleur Islands

The Chandeleur Islands belong to the outermost barrier islands on the eastern coastal plain of Louisiana.

They are home to our nation's second oldest national wildlife refuge and serve as a gateway between our inshore marshes and offshore waters.

Hewes Point Chandeleur Islands 1998

Hewes Point 1998 - Click to Enlarge

The north end of the Chandeleur, called Hewes Point, was home to a 100+ year old lighthouse that was lost in Hurricane Katrina.

Today, Hewes Point is virtually gone due to Louisiana land loss.

Hewes Point Chandeleur Islands 2015

Hewes Point 2015 - Click to Enlarge

This barrier island is our first line of defense against hurricanes. But because of Louisiana land loss there is next to nothing to slow storm surge dozens of miles ahead of our homes and businesses. Without them we will see heightened flood levels, even worse than what they are now.

Our wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate and action must be taken.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

You may also like

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never Miss Practical Fishing Tips & Tricks for Louisiana's Coast