What would happen to the nation if the habitat critical to 90 percent of Gulf marine species were lost?
Where would 70 percent of the continent’s migratory waterfowl go if they had to find a new winter home?
How much more would you pay for gas if 30 percent of the nation’s oil supply was choked off, and 50 percent of its refining capacity was shut down?
These aren’t scenes from the latest Hollywood disaster movie. It’s the reality rushing toward the United States over the next 50 years if it can’t stop one of the greatest environmental disasters in its history: The drowning of coastal Louisiana.
The great deltas of the Mississippi River are being swallowed by the Gulf of Mexico had the astounding rate of a football field every hour – 16 square miles a year. NOAA now says at current rates of subsidence and sea level rise, most of this area will be under water before the end of the century.
To find out why this is happening and what it means to the nation, see this project published by The Lens and ProPublica.
Sportsmen’s groups, including the National Wildlife Federation and Ducks Unlimited as well as almost all Louisiana organizations, have been heavily involved in efforts to address this looming catastrophe. The state has a 50-year, $50 billion plan developed by some of the world’s foremost coastal scientists that could stop most of the loss by 2060 and actually reverse it after that. But it is woefully short of funding, and so far has gotten little help from Congress.
America’s sportsmen face few threats to fish and wildlife habitat that are larger.