|Activity: Where Have All the Wetlands Gone?|
In the United States during the last 200 years, we have lost 50% of our nation's wetlands. Louisiana's coastal wetlands are vanishing at a rate of 20,000 to 25,000 acres per year. If this rapid loss continues, the Gulf of Mexico will be thirty-plus miles closer to New Orleans, and more of our bountiful marshes will become open bays of water.
Wetland loss in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin will have been discussed in class. Its relevance to and relationship with other issues should be emphasized. Students must develop an understanding of the pressures that wetland loss places on the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, in order for them to become informed citizens able to make intelligent choices. This activity provides students the opportunity to discuss cause-and-effect relationships among wetland loss and other issues and to suggest possible solutions.
Note: Students will work in cooperative learning groups.