That's what all these people hanging out at the Jazz Fest or going to Saints games need to understand - is that we are going at a rate that's faster than any place else in this hemisphere

DAVE BAKER

PLACE
The lower half of Louisiana is a puzzle of waterways, swamps, canals and levees. A once complex and resilient ecosystem carved through, for generations, by commerce. From a plane the land looks like a mass of fresh scabs – little flakey islands floating in the water for as far as the eye can see.

And at the bottom of the map is Plaquemines Parish – the ‘bird’s foot’. This area was fertile farm land, alive with life but place names are literally dropping off the map. Down here, the ground is squelchy, watery, loose and the land disappearing so fast, so they say, that 30 football field sized chunks of it are slipping away from the state every single day.

PULSE
The Mississippi river is the main artery of the whole area but she has been shackled in place by a complex levee system, designed to protect people and keep commerce flowing. As a living breathing entity, all she really wants to do is…river. To sway this way and that, sending nutrient rich sediment either side of her with every switch of her muddy hips, building up land and a natural defence system with it as she goes.

ROLL CALL
Dave Baker – the passionate ecologist who provided deep context as we walked amongst the 800 year old live oaks
Wade Pitre – the friendly oil company worker who used to live off the land
Justine DeMolle at Changes Restaurant – seafood kickers and a lot of heart from the doyenne of this Venice, La establishment
The Lighthouse Lodge – Trampus and Barbara and Jowald who run such a welcoming spot

DEEPER
Solastalgia – a ‘new emotion’ for our times’

NYT An Ode to the Final Miles of the Mississippi River

Washington Post on the recent salt wedge

NYT Destroying a Way of Life to Save Louisiana