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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030763

Cartographic Depictions of Louisiana Land Loss: A Tool for Sustainable Policies

Department of Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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Abstract

For more than half a century, scientists in Louisiana (USA) have been mapping coastal land loss. Cartographic depictions were initially important to expose potential loss of off-shore oil revenue tied to the retreating shoreline. For the last 40 years, attention has shifted to issues related to preserving a valuable ecology and protecting the coastal society from rising seas and storm surge. This paper reviews 60 years of land loss mapping as a tool to drive public policy directed at preserving and restoring the state’s coastal wetlands. It highlights the power of visualizations in fostering public awareness in an environmental crisis and their value in motivating more sustainable public policies. It also provides a critique of the shifting emphasis in the public narrative away from the factual history of land loss to imagined future losses. View Full-Text
Keywords: cartography; coastal land loss; public policy; Louisiana (USA) cartography; coastal land loss; public policy; Louisiana (USA)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Colten, C.E. Cartographic Depictions of Louisiana Land Loss: A Tool for Sustainable Policies. Sustainability 2018, 10, 763.

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