NPR

Oil Companies Invest To Protect Billion-Dollar Assets Along Louisiana's Vanishing Coast

By some estimates, it will cost up to $90 billion to restore the state's coastline over the next 50 years — and the private sector is making an effort to stem the crisis.
A crop duster drops black mangrove propagules over marshland near Port Fourchon, La., in an effort to offset coastal erosion. (Courtesy ConocoPhillps)

Sarah Mack pilots her 24-foot boat to the edge of a grassy salt marsh in southern Louisiana to bring a slow-moving, $90 billion crisis to life.

Tierra Resources, a wetland restoration company, planted plastic poles at the edge of the marsh more than a year ago. Today, those poles stand alone in the water — at least 6 feet from the shore.

“And this is a more protected site,” says Mack, who started Tierra Resources after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. “This is not bad erosion.”

The vanishing land belongs to ConocoPhillips

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
The Cajun Navy: Heroes Or Hindrances In Hurricanes?
President Trump praised the Cajun Navy during a visit to North Carolina. But federal emergency managers say volunteers can put themselves and others in danger if they don't go through proper channels.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford Will Testify To Senate Panel, Lawyers Say
Bipartisan negotiators have tentatively agreed to work toward a Thursday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
NPR8 min read
Veterans Struggling After Sexual Assault Increasingly Turn To Service Dogs
Though the VA provides veterinary benefits for service dogs assigned to people with physical disabilities, it does not currently recognize psychiatric service dogs for treatment.