Summary and Conclusions

  • John W. Day
Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)


When European explorers first arrived in what is now south Louisiana in the late seventeenth century, the Mississippi delta was a vibrant, healthy, dynamic regional coastal ecosystem. Now however, the Mississippi delta is profoundly changed and unsustainable. Given the growing constraints imposed by climate change and resource scarcity and the projections for loss of most coastal wetlands even with the current proposed coastal master plan, it may be that a dramatically new approach will be required. The goal of this book was to provide a framework of what a new approach might look like. This chapter summarizes the book’s key findings. The authors concluded that restoration should focus on activities that are more sustainable over the long-term without large energy inputs, river diversions are an example of this. Other recommendations include a dramatic intervention involving raising parts of New Orleans, municipalities focusing on maximizing freshwater input to wetlands and controlling nutria populations, land-use planners prioritizing building structures 15 ft above sea level. Regardless of the approach, expensive, energy-intensive projects that are long lasting, more sustainable, and convey long-term benefits should be done as early as possible.


Mississippi delta Coastal restoration Climate change Land-use planning Wetland ecosystems 


  1. Day J, Kemp GP, Freeman A, Muth DP (eds) (2014) Perspectives on the restoration of the Mississippi Delta: the once and future delta. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  2. Day J, Agboola J, Chen Z, D'Elia C, Forbes D, Giosan L, Kemp P, Kuenzer C, Lane R, Ramachandran R, Syvitski J, Yanez A (2016) Approaches to defining deltaic sustainability in the 21st century. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci,
  3. Hoyos CD, Agudelo PA, Webster PJ, Curry JA (2006) Deconvolution of the factors contributing to the increase in global hurricane intensity. Science 312(5770):94–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Knutson TR, McBride JL, Chan J, Emanuel K, Holland G, Landsea C, Held I, Kossin JP, Srivastava AK, Sugi M (2010) Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nat Geosci 3(3):157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Maggio G, Cacciola G (2012) When will oil, natural gas, and coal peak? Fuel 98:111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Melillo JM, Richmond TT, Yohe G (2014) Climate change impacts in the United States. Third National Climate AssessmentGoogle Scholar
  7. Murphy DJ, Hall CA (2011) Energy return on investment, peak oil, and the end of economic growth. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1219(1):52–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Tessler ZD, Vörösmarty CJ, Grossberg M, Gladkova I, Aizenman H, Syvitski JPM, Foufoula-Georgiou E (2015) Profiling risk and sustainability in coastal deltas of the world. Science 349(6248):638–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oceanography and Coastal SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

Personalised recommendations