Khalil, S. M.; Finkl, C. W., and Raynie, R. C., 2013. Development of new rRestoration strategies for Louisiana barrier island systems, northern Gulf of Mexico, USA
The rapid degradation of Louisiana's barrier island (BI) systems adversely impacts the vitality of strategic economic and biological resources (including aquatic habitat). Louisiana's BI systems have undergone landward migration through BI rollover, area loss and island narrowing as a result of complex interactions among land subsidence, sea-level rise, wave processes, inadequate sediment supply, and intense human disturbance. Consequently, the structural continuity of the BI shorelines has weakened as the islands narrowed, fragmented and, in some cases, submerged. Several multipronged restoration strategies are currently underway to develop effective interdisciplinary restoration projects that mitigate degradation of the Mississippi River delta plain and compensate for coastal land loss. Restoration of the BI systems requires strategies that protect interior wetlands and bolster the first lines of storm defense in a post- Hurricane Katrina-Rita-Gustav-Ike-Isaac and post-Deep Water Horizon era. Coastline degradation would have continued were it not for a series of massive barrier island restoration projects. Such efforts commonly consist of beach nourishment on the Gulfside and marsh creation on the bayside of barrier islands. Regionalizing monitoring, maintenance, and data management efforts support the still evolving scientific and engineering aspects of rebuilding BIs.