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Potential sea level rise for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

April 1, 2019

Situated in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain of the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC), the Chitimacha Tribe is one of four federally recognized tribes in Louisiana. The Tribal seat, trust lands/ reservation, and adjacent Tribal owned lands are located near Charenton, Louisiana, totaling nearly 1,000 acres. The Chitimacha, with a population of approximately 1,400 people, are currently impacted by storm surge, which is expected to increase with climate change. The additional stress from storms will likewise increase the vulnerability to catastrophic impact in the event of a breach in the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway levee. A collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Chitimacha Tribe has been initiated to provide resources and expertise to increase the Tribe’s ability to prevent, plan, and prepare for these environmental challenges. By enhancing technical skills, providing access to environmental data, and increasing awareness of environmental issues, the Chitimacha will be better prepared to plan and adapt to the environmental impacts facing their lands related to land use and climate change.

For this project, USGS researchers asked how Chitimacha Tribal Lands might be impacted by future sea level rise scenario projections. These models illustrate some flooding within the northernmost boundary of Chitimacha Tribal Lands.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Potential sea level rise for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191030
Authors Kathryn A. Spear, William Jones, Kereen Griffith, Blair E. Tirpak, Kimberly Walden
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1030
Index ID ofr20191030
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center