Oyster Reefs of the Past Hold Lessons for Future Coastal Restoration

This is part 2 of a two-part series concerning Richard Condrey and Natalie Peyronnin’s recent paper, “ Using Louisiana’s coastal history to innovate its coastal future,” published in Shore & Beach, Fall 2017. See part one here.

It’s hard to imagine the lush and expansive complex of marshes and oyster reefs that early explorers encountered in south Louisiana, as described in Dr. Condrey’s recent blog . It is equally as hard to imagine how Louisiana’s coast will look into the future.

Unfortunately, there will be large areas of marsh that are lost in the next 50 years, even as we start an aggressive restoration program. We can’t save it all. And as the Gulf of Mexico gets closer, we lose the protection from storms that our coast provides. In a recent paper , Dr. Condrey and I propose that we should explore innovative approaches to transforming the current landscape instead of maintaining the landscape that exists today – and that we should look to the past to rethink our future.

Benefits of oyster reefs

We cannot rebuild the Great Barrier Reef of the Americas or other massive offshore oyster reefs off the coast of Louisiana. […]

More about restoration work:

Seabirds Return to Desecheo Island One Year After Restoration

River Revives After Largest Dam Removal in USA History

Meet the visionary who restored 5,500 acres of wrecked Texas land to paradise

What’s at Stake — Why Coastal Louisiana Matters

Rewilding Santa Monica’s Thoroughly Artificial Beach

Restoration Solutions

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Oyster Reefs of the Past Hold Lessons for Future Coastal Restoration
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Oyster Reefs of the Past Hold Lessons for Future Coastal Restoration
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Large areas of Louisiana marsh will be lost in the next 50 years, even with aggressive restoration. And we'll lose its protection from Gulf of Mexico storms. We propose transforming the landscape instead of maintaining the version that exists today - we should look to the past to rethink our future coastal restoration.
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Restore the Mississippi River Delta
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