Louisiana is located in the most southern part of North America. The wetlands of Louisiana span it 's southern coast where it feeds into the Gulf of Mexico.
3,560 km2 of fresh water wetlands 6,600 km2 of salt water wetlands. Bogs, Marshes, & Swamps
Life in the Wetlands
The wetlands may not appear very hospitable to humans, nevertheless, many living things thrive in this habitat. The large concentration of rich nutrients, brought to the wetlands by rivers, produced the perfect spawning grounds for fish, shrimp, and other invertebrates. This helps boost the economy as fishing is very traditional career for Louisiana. It is well known that a large portion of the seafood consumed in North America is from the wetlands.
Wetlands Growth and Delta Switching
The wetlands of Louisiana are part of a deltaic system that is fed by the multiple rivers. Three rivers converge on the Mississippi River as it flows south into the Gulf of Mexico. These rivers courier silt and materials downstream into the wetlands. When materials begin to block different routes the river path will redirect itself. As the sediments change direction and span out new land is formed. This process is known as a delta switching and is responsible for the rich nutrients that support life in the wetlands.
Human Impact on the Wetlands
An increasing human population has severely altered the ecosystem of Louisiana’s coastline. Human influence on the wetlands has diminished it 's size by thousands of square kilometers. Saltwater inundation has deteriorated much of the freshwater plant life and levees built to control the flow of the Mississippi river have prevented any natural restoration. This has caused a reduction in the chance of forming new land while the current land is disappearing into the sea.
Repercussions of our Actions
There would be dire repercussions if there is no effort to protect and restore these wetlands. If saltwater
References: State of Louisiana (n.d.). [Map of Louisiana 's Wetlands]. Retrieved from http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/uploads/tx_naksciimages/wallymap450.gif ● ● Fulweiler, R. (2007). The Louisiana Wetlands: An Introduction The Naked Scientist Retrieved from http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/thelouisianawetlandsanintroduction/ ● TANGLEY, L. (2011). GULF COAST REVIVAL? (Cover story). National Wildlife (World Edition), 49(3), 22-29.