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Bayou Farewell is a travel book and a sobering look at a land that is nearly lost. The novel gives information that this area of the country is in such a fraught shape, and should encourage many people to engage in saving the bayous of the Southern Louisiana coast. Tidwell's inventive spirit and interest allows the people of the area to speak for themselves while he provides a candid sight into their lives. Voices of individuals working in saving Louisiana wetlands are heard. Bayou Farewell is a novel, which explores numerous key bayous and their populations with a compassion that also infiltrates to the problems of the extinct wetlands. The escapade comes out of the striking surroundings, but also out of Tidwell's enthusiasm to get out on the water to speak to the shrimpers and fishermen and take note what these people have to say about their history and their present life. (Siegel, 2003).
Natural wetland utilities produce reimbursements for coastal people such as; a barrier from storm impacts; storing floodwater; enthralling nutrients and contaminants; sustaining high biological productivity and serving as a breeding area for fish and a locale for wildlife, as well as the base for ecological food webs. The value of Louisiana's coastal wetlands exceeds $100 billion; this is in terms of innate services, biologic yields and infrastructural reserves. Coastal residents rely on these utilities for their livelihood and their lifestyles are centered on wetland possessions, which have been conserved through time. Over three million acres of marshes, bottomland hardwoods, barriers island habitats and swamps conveyed in Louisiana make the fishing industry very vital to its economy. According statistics from the United States Department of Commerce over 1.1 billion pounds of fish and its products are harvested yearly in Louisiana due to its vast fishery landings than any other region in the United States.
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Louisiana produces more than 16% of the nation's fisheries harvest, which include; crabs, oysters, finfish, shrimps and crayfish and over 75% of these commercial harvests are dependent on wetlands. The length of the land-water interface has been marked as an important feature of wetland habitat related to biological productivity, the land-water interface provide breeding, feeding, spawning and nursery area for these species during their life cycle because it provides access to food resources and harbor from predators. Over 40% of the United States wild fur production comes from Louisiana's wetlands, which include; muskrat, mink, coyote, nutria, opossum, raccoon and bobcat.
According to Cowan & Turner (2003), Louisiana's wetlands produce over 25,000 wild alligators yearly from its fresh, brackish lakes and streams. Hides and meat from wild and farm harvests exceeds $16 million. Eco-tourism industry is thriving in Louisiana with activities such as hiking, camping, bird watching, water sports and boating. These wetland related activities such as swamp tours, is an extremely important activity with great potential in economic growth. Eco-tourism industry contributes to the local economy with over $220 million being spent yearly by non-consumptive nature participants (Cowan & Turner, 2003).
A long-term decline in fishery productivity will be experienced as the wetland deterioration continues. Unless there is a remedy to the situation, decline in fishery productivity may occur soon in coastal Louisiana. Some species have reportedly declined due to the loss of wetland habitat over the last few years. Breeding grounds for neo-tropical migrants will be lost as acreage of barrier islands and natural levee forests decline. Finally, with the deterioration of wetland productivity of both wild and farm raised alligators vitally linked to Louisiana will decline. The value of Louisiana coastal, which exceeds $100 in terms of biological productivity, infrastructural investments and natural services, will decline as deterioration of wetland continues (Cowan & Turner, 2003).
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Tidewell had vivid predictions about hurricane Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. His predictions came upon numerous and puzzling signs that something was awry, cemeteries where only the tops of graves remained visible and lines of telephone poles planted in the swampland. All the land around had dropped straight to the ocean. The problem started in 1927 when the U.S government was prompted to direct its Engineers to construct a massive levee system designed to keep the Mississippi River from ever breaching its banks again. Although the construction of the massive levee was intended to keep the towns, cities and farmland, all the residue swept by the mighty river instead of fanning out and settling on Bayous of South Louisiana creating land, it was swept down to the bottom of the ocean.
Hurricane Katrina made a landfall which recorded 125mp (205 km/h) winds which were as powerful as Category 3 storm. However, the radius of utmost winds was great since it had just destabilized from Category 4 strength and it is feasible that sustained winds of Category 4 might later hit extreme southeastern Louisiana. 8-10 inches of heavy rain was recorded in the eastern part of the state. Higher rainfall approximately 15 inches was later recorded in the area around Slidell and consequently the level of Lake Pontchartrain rose causing considerable flooding along its northeastern shore (Siegel, 2003).
All parishes surrounding Lake Pontchartrain received a two-part storm heave, hard hit St. Bernard Parish was flooded due to breaching of the levees that enclosed a navigation channel the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet the heave level was projected to be 13 to 16 feet (4.9 m), excluding wave stroke. Hurricane Katrina will have significant consequences on the economies of Southern Louisiana. Economic estimates indicated that as a result of the storm, national economic development is expected to be 0.5%-1.0% slower hence adjusting predictions to reflect its effects.
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The loss of Louisiana's coastal wetlands will result in the thrashing of important functions they serve. This is replicated in changes in the living reserve base, and the related economic and aesthetic reimbursements, as well as through direct effects on local societies and cultures. With the deterioration of wetlands in south Louisiana, over two million people would have to reposition and the way of livelihood that has been conserved for centuries would be diminished. If the wetland loss continues, unabated Louisiana will have lost more than one million acres of coastal land by the year 2040. Consequently, major cities and towns such as New Orleans and Houma, will be uncovered to open marine forces of the Gulf Mexico if the Gulf of Mexico will continue to progress inland during this period.
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By the year 2040 feasible and recreational fisheries production could decline by over 30% and nearly 50,000 jobs related to fishing, dispensation and wholesaling activities would be in jeopardy. People living in coastal Louisiana will experience decline in numerous staple foods and basic minerals and this reduction will also impact the national markets. Taxable income based on revenues such as aquaculture, hunting venture, alligator egg sales and hunting, fur trapping will suffer once their value decrease (Siegel, 2003).
Conclusively, accessible transportation infrastructures will suffer as rail systems, highways are lost, and expenses of river upholding rise. The people living in coastal of Louisiana will also experience an increase in the cost of drinking water treatment. Impacts will be felt in much of North America as population of migratory wildlife and birds directly dependent on the swamps and marshes dramatically decreases the loss of Louisiana wetland and decrease of its revenue will negatively affect people living in coastal Louisiana and the region's economy.
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