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Hurricane Katrina gave the nation an urgent reminder of the extent and value of Louisiana’s wetlands when daily discussions of subsidence and sedimentation revealed how much ordinary coastal processes affect humanity—and vice versa. Now, with a native Louisiana naturalist as a guide, readers can learn how best to enjoy, appreciate, and protect this vanishing landscape. Part natural history and part field guide, The Louisiana Coast takes readers across one of only three major chenier plains in the world to the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest river basin swamp on the continent, and through the network of bayous, natural levees, cypress swamps, marshes, and barrier islands of the Deltaic Plain. Color photographs illustrate chapters on vegetation, wildlife, and the rich human culture that defines Louisiana. With the intimate knowledge of one whose life has been shaped by this remarkable environment, author Gay M. Gomez leads visitors to nature trails, wildlife refuges, Audubon sanctuaries, and parks. A visitor’s guide at the end of the book features destinations open to the public for wildlife watching, photography, and even hunting, fishing, crabbing, and cast netting. Everyone who lives in or visits Louisiana and anyone interested in the conservation, ecology, natural history, and geography of the region will appreciate Gomez’s exploration of the land, its people, its resources, and its vulnerabilities. The Louisiana Coast will encourage readers to share the author’s love for this vital, distinct, and beautiful place.  

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Contents
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  1. Prelude: Coastal Roots
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. 1. The Louisiana Coast: Vital, Valuable, and Vulnerable
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. 2. Deltaic Plain and Chenier Plain Landscapes
  2. pp. 13-38
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  1. 3. Coastal Vistas: Vegetation
  2. pp. 39-68
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  1. 4. Coastal Vistas: Wildlife
  2. pp. 69-98
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  1. 5. Coastal Vistas: Human Activities
  2. pp. 99-120
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  1. 6. Wetland Loss and Restoration
  2. pp. 121-136
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  1. 7. Visiting the Coast
  2. pp. 137-161
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  1. 8. Conclusion: Tenacity 163
  2. pp. 163-167
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  1. Books and Other Resources to Enhance Your Wetland
  2. pp. 169-175
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 177-181
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 183-189
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