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

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