The Louisiana wetlands, an important hurricane defense for the city of New Orleans and the rest of Southern Louisiana, are disappearing at a rate of a football field an hour. The area is a valuable 'working coast' where people live, fish,  and extract oil for the rest of the country- yet it suffers the highest rate of land loss in the United States. Left unchecked, much of Southern Lousiana could be underwater within this century. The following pictures are part of an ongoing essay about the communities and landscape of this fragile yet critical area.

The thumbnail to the right links to the story that I worked on with writer Joel Bourne and photographer Robert Caputo about the disappearing wetlands which was published the year before Hurricane Katrina sank New Orleans and caused so many deaths and so much damaged along the Gulf Coast.