Sunken fishing boats after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana's coast

No state is losing land like Louisiana—but no other state has a bolder plan

Some say Louisiana's southern wetlands have already been doomed by the taming of the Mississippi, oil industry canals—and now rising seas. Can a state restoration plan turn the tide?

Fishing boats sunk by Hurricane Ida are seen off Chauvin, Louisiana, a community in Terrebonne Parish, southwest of New Orleans, that was hit hard by the storm in August 2021. Hurricanes accelerate wetland erosion.
Ben Depp

At the height of the 2021 hurricane season in Louisiana, on Sunday August 29, a soft-spoken coastal ecologist named Bren Haase watched Hurricane Ida roar ashore with government and military officials gathered inside a central command at State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge.

“We were making sure equipment and people were out of harm’s way, coordinating pumps and other assets, and getting regular updates from our contact at the National Weather Service and trying to determine where the storm may come ashore,” says Haase. “We have been through this before but that doesn’t eliminate the anxiety and the stress. Every storm is different and you really don’t know what the storm is going to do until it hits.”

Ida ended

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