Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost approximately 2,000 square miles of land along its coastline. The state’s barrier islands, an important source of hurricane protection, have largely sunk back into the Gulf of Mexico.
At Grand Isle, the sea level has risen two foot with an average rate of rise of more than 0.3 inches each year over the last 70 years. According to the 2014 International Panel on Climate Change report, the sea level change at Grand Isle is four times higher than the global average.
As the only inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle has a long history of state and local investment for its protection and restoration of its human inhabitants, while other islands began seeing inclusion in federal and state restoration plans in the last 30 years.
This project explores the future of Grand Isle as sea level rise, coastal erosion and increasingly intense hurricane seasons threaten the island’s ability to continue the cycle of rebuilding.