Coastal Erosion and Sea Level Rise: Residents' and Local Officials' Response

by Shirley Laska, Univ of New Orleans, New Orleans, United States,
Rodney Emmer, Univ of New Orleans, New Orleans, United States,
JoAnne Darlington, Univ of New Orleans, New Orleans, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico


Recent concern about the possibility of the sea rising due to the warming of the atmosphere and the resultant melting of the polar ice caps has prompted attention to the question of how coastal residents will respond if such an event of significant magnitude were to occur. Coastal Louisiana is a natural laboratory in which to examine this question because coastal land is being lost due to natural soil subsidence and human-caused disruptions of the coastal marsh. Residents and public officials in communities surrounding one of the water bodies most seriously affected by erosion were surveyed by phone about their assessments of and responses to land loss and possible sea level rise. Findings included a considerable awareness of the threat and expectation that the condition will get worse. Residents were more willing to consider the need to abandon the site as opposed to the public officials who felt they had more control over mitigating the problem.

Subject Headings: Erosion | Sea level | Land subsidence | Land surveys | Water leakage and water loss | Social factors | Snowmelt | Louisiana | United States

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