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The Brown Marsh Project Responds to Louisiana's Smooth Cordgrass
The browning and
dieback of over 100,000 acres of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
served as a dire call to action for Louisiana's coastal science community.
This 6-part series explores the response to that call, from satellite
imagery to laboratory studies of individual plants.
1: A State of Emergency
The discovery of an ecological mystery, Governor Foster's call
to action, and the coastal research community's call to arms.
2: Data Management and Synthesis
Laying the groundwork for the storage, access and retrieval of
the multidisciplinary data to be generated, plus plans to disseminate
3: Status and Trends
Determining the extent and spread of the problem from space, air
and at ground level.
4: The Search for Causes
The heart of the matter, including an investigation of the climate
record, field studies, laboratory studies, greenhouse studies and
5: Remediation Trials
The challenge of finding a way to repair the damage done: breeding
a heartier marsh grass, aerial seeding, shoring up critical zones
and the use of dredged material.
6: A Silver Lining
Even prior to the investigation's conclusion, simply facing the
challenge yields it own rewards.