The place for humans in Louisiana coastal restoration
Louisiana (USA) faces a serious coastal land loss crisis and has embarked on an ambitious plan to restore its littoral landscape. Yet the very population that depend on this environmental setting for their traditional livelihoods will be the mose immediately impacted and they are not able to participate in the planning as they would like. This article will: (1) review the state’s historical approach to environmental policy in order to expose a pattern of neglecting public wishes; (2) trace past efforts to re-engineer the Mississippi River and their impacts to natural resource economies as a source of lingering contention between residents and government officials; (3) relate the recognition of the coastal crisis with ensuing engineering works and litigation that contributed to tensions between citizens and state agencies; and (4) consider how the recent planning efforts have neglected natural resource-based economies despite advice to the contrary. Together these related observations offer useful insights for incorporating a long-term, human-centered component into coastal restoration planning.
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