Coastal Change | Coastal Index | The Data Center
Coastal Change
What is this section about?

In Southeast Louisiana, coastal land loss directly threatens frontline communities, undermines the natural buffer against storm surge that protects urban centers, and promises to shape the regional economy for decades. Despite these challenges, the marriage of ambitious plans with unprecedented resources also places Louisiana in a unique position to act. Our state and region’s emergence as a hub for leadership and expertise in managing and adapting to coastal change is not only an existential imperative but also one of the state’s most realistic routes to economic diversification and inclusive, sustainable growth.

Projected Coastal Land Loss
Why is this important?

Using data from the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), this map illustrates projected future land loss in a scenario with no preventative future action. According to the CPRA Coastal Master Plan, Louisiana’s coast lost more than 2,000 square miles of land since 1932. The CPRA also projects that between 1,100 and 3,000 square miles will be lost over the next 50 years with no additional action. [note] The Coastal Master Plan is a 50-year, $50 billion program of coastal restoration investment. It also has an important economic role in the water management cluster, since it coordinates some of the main sources of demand and allows businesses to anticipate contracting opportunities.

Population Change
Why is this important?

As the wetlands continue to erode, residents in Southeast Louisiana are retreating from the coastline. Recent research has shown that coastal vulnerability influences migration. [note] Repeated flooding, frequent and unpredictable evacuations, and inability to get insurance are all factors that have contributed to residents’ decisions to migrate inland, though a number of historical and socio-economic factors also influence migration. In some cases, the population left behind may be on average older, poorer, or otherwise vulnerable.