The Saltwater Marsh Dieback was declared an emergency by Louisiana Governor
Mike Foster in the form of Executive
Proclamation #55-MJF-2000 issued on October 23, 2000. In response,
Congress allocated approximately three million in funds through the National
Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration to the Louisiana Department of
Natural Resources (LDNR) to examine causes and effects of the Brown Marsh
phenonmenon. A Request for Proposals
(PDF 56 KB) was issued by the Scientific-Technical
Committee of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and LDNR,
which awarded the funding for Brown Marsh research.
Projects are divided into 5 categories:
Task I. Status and Trends
tasks include a variety of methods to track brown marsh spread/recovery:
fixed wing transects, helicopter transects, aerial photography, and LANDSAT
imagery. Fixed wing and helicopter surveys are key in locating and determining
the extent of marsh dieback. Aerial photography is important to provide
high-resolution imagery for studying marsh dieback in relation to adjacent
wetland areas. Satellite imagery can be used to monitor large areas of
wetlands across different salinity regimes.
Task II. Causes
The purpose of this effort is to determine the unique aspects of
the 1999/2000 growing season that caused the spatial and temporal pattern
of marsh dieback along coastal Louisiana during summer 2000. No single
approach by itself can address the causes. What is needed is an integrated
approach that uses a combination of controlled greenhouse and field
studies, compilation and analysis of historical data sets of climatic
and hydrologic data, modeling, and assessment of patterns of marsh recovery
in the field.
Task III. Synthesis and Data
Projects in this category will provide a consistent method of analysis
for marsh dieback and nutria control data
and provide a central location for the collection, integration, synthesis,
and redistribution of marsh dieback and nutria control data.
Task IV. Nutria Control Program
The nutria control projects aims to eliminate damage to wetlands and
establish and/or enhance markets resulting in increased price, harvest
and control of nutria. Short term objectives 1). To compile, analyze,
summarize data that will provide guidance in the development of a nutria
control program and 2). Provide data to better explain to the public
and decision-makers the consequences of this damage and the need for
funding a nutria control program. This information will be essential
in seeking funding for a comprehensive nutria control program.
Task V. Remediation
These projects were awarded on a non-competitive basis with the objective
of identifying severely impacted areas and assessing potential for recovery
using dredging and vegetative planting.