Spatial Analysis of Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Projects

Science Center Objects

As the first federally mandated restoration program, Louisiana enacted the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) to address Louisiana’s land loss crisis.

Bayou LaBranche Wetland Cration (PO-17), 1993 Land-Water Analysis
Bayou LaBranche Wetland Cration (PO-17), 1993 Land-Water Analysis

The Science Issue and Relevance: As the first federally mandated restoration program, Louisiana enacted the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) to address Louisiana’s land loss crisis. Between 1990 and 2015, the CWPPRA program has authorized 204 coastal restoration projects. These projects use a variety of restoration techniques and vary in size from small barrier island vegetation planting projects to large diversions of freshwater and sediments. As one component of the CWPPRA restoration monitoring program, the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) was designed to monitor the effectiveness of restoration actions at multiple spatial scales from site scale to the influence of projects on the entire coastal landscape. Restoration project effectiveness is assessed using many data types including hydrologic, ecologic, and spatial data sets. One component of project evaluation is change in land and water composition coast-wide within restoration project boundaries and within CRMS sites.

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: Geographers maintain and utilize various databases and data layers for analysis of the success and effectiveness of these restoration efforts in Louisiana. Land/water datasets are created to assess the land change in areas of interest for restoration planning and assessment throughout the Louisiana coastal zone. Aerial photography is used to determine change at a finer scale and for specific applications, i.e., shoreline change analysis. The CRMS uses the land change assessment as a landscape indicator in the reporting feature.  

Bayou LaBranche Wetland Cration (PO-17), 2001 Land-Water Analysis
Bayou LaBranche Wetland Cration (PO-17), 2001 Land-Water Analysis

Future Steps: In addition to the programmatic obligations, CWPPRA/CRMS geospatial datasets are used by USGS to support modeling, scientific research, and web-tool development. 

Location of the Study: Throughout the Louisiana coastal zone, Latitude: 29.678°, Longitude: -91.552°