Coastal Louisiana: Impacts of Hurricanes on Salt Marsh and Mangrove Wetlands
This video describes research conducted by Dr. Karen McKee, USGS Research Ecologist, and her university partners, Dr. Irv Mendelssohn (Louisiana State University) and Dr. Mark Hester (University of Louisiana). They are studying the effects of hurricanes on marsh and mangrove wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta, which contains over 40% of the U.S. wetlands in the lower 48 states. Although hurricanes can have devastating effects on human communities, they may provide nourishing sediment to subsiding wetlands. This video describes an investigation to determine how much storm sediment from Hurricane Gustav (2008) was deposited in marsh and mangrove stands and if these different types of vegetation influence sediment capture. McKee and colleagues carried out their research by helicopter, which is the only way to sample the vast wetlands in coastal Louisiana. The results of their investigation will lead to a better understanding of how hurricanes may benefit coastal wetlands.