Friday, June 11, 2010
Louisiana's 3.5 million hectares of marshes and estuaries is teeming with life. This area contains far more species than that of the Everglades, Yellowstone Park, or the Rocky Mountains. This region contains major nurseries for juvenile marine animals, and nearly everything that lives in the gulf is linked back to these estuaries. The natural capital of this area has been valued at around $1.3 trillion dollars due to the great contribution it makes to US fisheries.
These marshes are already devastated from hurricanes, canals built for the oil industry, as well as dikes. levees and channels that have altered the natural flow. However, now oil is about to further threaten life within this ecosystem and all the biodiversity it contains. At present huge populations of nesting birds are directly in the path of the incoming oil. This includes 400 pairs of brown pelicans, 8500 royal terns, 30000 sandwich terns, and 200 black skimmers.