Coastal Resilience and Restoration

Coastal land loss is the leading environmental issue in Louisiana today. Scientists at the College of the Coast & Environment (CC&E) are renowned experts in advancing knowledge about the complex interaction of the natural and human factors behind coastal land loss, resilience, and restoration. The college is globally acknowledged as the nexus of talent for understanding these issues and preparing the workforce for business, government and nonprofits.

Studying in state-of-the-art laboratories and the natural laboratories of the Mississippi River delta and Gulf of Mexico, CC&E faculty and researchers are well versed in understanding natural processes contributing to coastal land loss, such as coastal subsidence, sea level rise, erosion, estuarine dynamics, global environmental changes, salt water intrusion, and storms, as well as the impact of built environments. 

CC&E’s close proximity to the Mississippi River--the most heavily human-managed river in the world--allows our scientists to study the delta’s historical natural system of counterbalancing coastal land loss through annual flooding, a process that adds suspended sediments to coastal wetlands. CC&E scientists study the impact as sediments travel directly into the Gulf of Mexico and fresh water is diverted into brackish and salt water marshes. 

CC&E scientists are renowned researchers in wetlands ecology, fish habitats, sustainability and the impact of natural and man-made processes. Plants, wetlands, marshes, floating marshes and mangroves are studied as they are essential components to coastal restoration.

With a coast vulnerable to storms, and hurricanes predicted to become stronger and more frequent through the end of this century, CC&E is well versed in monitoring the ocean to identify surges, storm-related stressors and unpredictable strong currents.  

Tools such as coastal and oceanographic modelling, GIS, remote sensing for community resilience and recovery, and social networks are studied to better understand and communicate risks. We study the scientific issues of coastal resilience and costal sustainability and understand the interacting dynamics that makes communities resilient to natural and man-made hazards.

CC&E couples the natural and human dynamisms of these complex issues to advance scientific understanding. Its scientific data serves as the foundation of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan and leads to the development of scientifically-sound management practices and policies.