Delta systems such as coastal Louisiana are beautiful and unique intersections of communities, ecosystems and industry. But the wide variety of interests in these areas can also lead to discord as we plan for the future of our often-vulnerable coastal regions.
As complex restoration projects are implemented, how do we balance the needs of the ecosystem and communities? How do we reduce negative impacts to fisheries and industry, and make sure certain wildlife won’t benefit at the expense of others?
A diverse, interdisciplinary group of 12 scientists with decades of on-the-ground research in Louisiana recently tried to work past conflicting interests to tackle challenges left by decades of mismanagement of the region’s vital wetlands.
Their task: to figure out how so-called sediment diversions affect different aspects of the environment, and how to operate them to build land while providing the greatest good.