Videos show rise of south Lafourche sea-level

By: Nikki Buskey, The Courier

December 12, 2012


Built on rapidly sinking and collapsing Mississippi River delta lands, south Lafourche is battling one of the fastest rates of sea-level rise in the world.

South Lafourche is a model for a problem that many other coastal communities will face in the future if sea-level rise continues, scientists said. The area is featured in a series of videos and stories on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website,

“We were looking for a more powerful way to help people understand climate,” said Ned Gardiner, who put together the series of videos and works as a NOAA contractor “The story of La. 1 and Lafourche Parish is a really powerful one. I think it really demonstrates how life is changing on the coast not only in Lafourche but around the world.”

After about 2,000 years of little change, scientists have seen global sea levels raise by roughly 8 inches over the past century as global temperatures have increased, according to NOAA. Sea level rises as land-based ice melts and warming waters expand. Scientists believe sea levels will continue to rise at an increased rate because of global climate change.

In Louisiana, the rapid sinking of land called subsidence has caused sea level to rise faster. Subsidence accelerated in Louisiana when the Mississippi River was leveed to curb flooding, which also prevented the sediment-rich river waters that built the delta from reaching coastal lands and sustaining them.

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