“For nearly a century, the oil and gas industry has continuously and relentlessly traversed, dredged, drilled and extracted in coastal Louisiana. It reaps enormous financial gain by exploiting the resources found there, sharing some of that bounty with the many residents whom it employs. Yet it also ravages Louisiana’s coastal landscape. An extensive network of oil and gas access and pipeline canals slashes the coastline at every angle, functioning as a mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction. This canal network injects corrosive saltwater into interior coastal lands, killing vegetation and carrying away mountains of soil. What remains of these coastal lands is so seriously diseased that if nothing is done, it will slip into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this century, if not sooner.”
The suit also notes the more than 200 miles of levees, hundreds of floodwalls and floodgates, and other flood control structures operated and maintained by the three area levee districts. It then goes on to describe “the crisis” presented by coastal wetland destruction:
“Coastal lands, including wetlands and marshes, are an integral natural complement to the Authority’s man-made flood protection system. Coastal lands are the first line of defense for south Louisiana’s communities against the destructive force of hurricanes.