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SPCMSC USGS scientists Julie Bernier, Nancy DeWitt, Andy Farmer, Rose Palermo, and Erin Lyons (Cherokee Nation Systems Solutions) will travel to the northern Chandeleur Islands, LA, to collect sediment samples to quantify barrier island sediment redistribution from Hurricane Ida in Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

Image: Aerial Oblique Photography Comparing the Chandeleur Islands Before and After Hurricane Isaac
The images reveal significant erosion of the island, likely due to inundation by waves and surge. This erosion resulted in the disappearance of an oil-protection berm constructed following the BP oil spill. Due to this island's cumulative damage from previous storms like Hurricane Katrina, it remains in question whether this beach system will ever be able to fully recover from storm impacts.  

As Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana’s protective barrier islands and marshes eroded and shifted landward. These effects complicate the recovery efforts of community and public land managers responsible for protection, planning, and development of these coastal areas. The Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 117-43) was enacted on September 30, 2021. The USGS received $26.3 million in supplemental funding to support direct recovery and rebuilding decisions in areas affected by declared disasters—including hurricanes and floods—that occurred between 2019 and 2021. This funding is being used to update data and analysis in Louisiana to accurately forecast flooding and erosion hazards, improve future storm-response operations, and address resilience, including areas with environmental justice concerns.


Explore USGS Recovery Activities as part of the 2022 Emergency Assistance Act.


This field effort supports DOI Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Recovery Activities Supplemental Funding Task 1, which seeks to quantify storm impacts and changes in coastal resilience in Louisiana resulting from the 2020-2021 hurricane seasons. In Breton National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR), the work includes both a topo-bathymetric assessment of changes in subaerial and seafloor elevations (planned for summer 2023) and an assessment of sedimentologic changes in barrier island environments (this effort). This builds on previous USGS sampling efforts in 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2015. And since the work will precede a coastal restoration project in BNWR, results are also expected to provide updated post-storm, pre-restoration baseline conditions.


Learn more about Coastal Assessments and Risk Forecasts from Hurricane Ida.



Read what else is new at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center.

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