Wetlands of Louisiana

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The Biology Building at Southeastern

Wetlands are a beautiful aspect of Louisiana. Unfortunately, there has been a loss of wetlands over the past 50 years.

“If you lose biology in any area, you have completely lost the area,” Dr.Crother, professor at Southeastern, said.

Dr. Crother was a young boy when he first became intrigued in biology. He went on to earn his Ph.D from the University of Miami.

“Lizards, frogs, snakes and the diversity of life attracted me to this field,” Dr.Crother said.

Crother went on to describe that there is a non biological and biological side to the loss of wetlands. He said that an extreme solution to save the wetlands would be to completely rid of New Orleans. The only reasonable way to improve the wetlands would be to allow the Mississippi River to flow back into them.

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Wetlands of Madisonville, Louisiana

“When this occurs sediment is deposited, elevation goes up and plants can grow on elevated wetlands,” Dr.Crother said.

The problem is that vast Mississippi River deposit into wetlands does not happen often. The Bonnet Carre Spillway is where this takes place, but only for flood control.

“Once every ten years, the spillway is opened,” Dr. Beachy, professor at Southeastern, said.

 Dr. Beachy received his Ph.D from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Beachy said he was “never uninterested” in biology.

“I’ve always thought nature was cool and began salamander research in 1985. Southeast Louisiana has the most diverse salamander species, including 23 different species,” Dr.Beachy said.

Salamanders do not live in wetlands because of salt water, but they do live upstream in the wetlands. River deposits into Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borne are beneficial to salamanders because it’s freshwater. If river deposits in the wetlands occurred more often there were not be such a loss of wetlands. Frequent deposits would also have an effect on salamander life upstream. The long-term effect of the spillway is crucial for supplying Louisiana wetlands with nutrients.

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