Coast Guard rescue
Coast Guard rescue during severe flooding around Louisiana coastal city in 2016. (Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard/Brandon Giles)

Communities in coastal Louisiana have long depended on the ocean for fishing, tourism, and transportation. But now, their proximity to the water is becoming a threat.

Cleetus: “Accelerating sea-level rise is worsening tidal flooding already around the country. And if we look ahead over the next few decades, this worsening tidal flooding is going to put a lot of homes and commercial properties along the coastline at risk of chronic inundation, and by chronic inundation, we mean places flooding 26 times per year or more.”

That’s Rachel Cleetus of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She explains that by the end of this century, more than 100,000 Louisiana homes could face chronic flooding.

Many of those homes are in places already struggling with poverty, where the financial losses could be especially hard to bear.

But this outcome is not inevitable. Cleetus says many vulnerable properties can stay dry for the foreseeable future if we reduce carbon pollution and global warming.

Cleetus: “There’s no question that there is a national imperative to take action here, because these communities on the front lines, they don’t have time to waste.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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