Subsidence/Erosion: What Can We Do?

As you've learned, subsidence and erosion are serious problems in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. It is taking concerted effort on the part of a number of governmental agencies and citizens groups to combat these forces. Complete the following problem/solution outlines on these issues. The first one has been started for you!


What: Land subsidence

Why: levees, compaction of sediments, extraction of groundwater and minerals, urbanization, wetland drainage and development

Attempted Solutions Results
1. Adding "fill" to landscape 1. Temporary; fill washes away easily
2. Cutting "crevasses" in levee 2. Sediment accumulates; builds land
3. Planting vegetation 3. Holds sediment in place
4. Keep more "green space" 4. Allows water to infiltrate ground

End Result


What: Erosion


Attempted Solutions Results
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.

End Result

Extensions /Portfolio:

  • Ask your students to be investigative reporters for a newspaper. Have them interview relatives, friends or neighbors who have experienced major storms while living in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Questions should include the "who, what, when, where, and why" of the issue.

  • Have the reporters present their findings about the impact of severe storms in creative ways: by writing a feature article about an individual's experience, by drawing an editorial cartoon, or by writing a newspaper story about a particular hurricane.

  • Publish the students' work in a student newspaper about factors that affect the Lake Pontchartrain Basin---or send the ticle to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation for possible publication in its newsletter.

  • Develop a hurricane that starts in either the Atlantic or the Caribbean and enters the Gulf of Mexico. Name your hurricane, and carefully plot its course on your tracking map. Construct a data table and list the following data for your hurricane: map coordinates (latitude and longitude), dates and times, wind speed, states and cities that are affected.

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