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Hurricane Ida is a reminder of how much Louisiana’s coast is changing

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 6:45 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For a number of years, I’ve enjoyed coming to a special spot near the mouth of the Tchefuncte River for a sunrise spot.

I say near the mouth of the river because the Tchefuncte, as it nears Lake Pontchartrain, takes a sharp right, then a sharp left a quarter-mile away at the lighthouse. The mouth of the river is actually south of the lighthouse, a lesson many an inexperienced boater learned the hard way as they ran aground on the remnants of an old peninsula just below the surface that runs perpendicular to the main river channel.

All that was left of that little spot was a little island, a small spit of land, separated from the shoreline with a lone cypress tree.

That little tree had character. It was a survivor, somehow hanging onto just enough real estate against the odds. In the last few weeks of the calendar year, when the sun reaches its southernmost point, it would frame up just perfectly behind that little tree.

There was something special about it, even poetic.

A few days ago, I was disappointed to learn Hurricane Ida’s surge blew that little island to bits.

I understand that it’s one tree out of the countless number felled in the storm. It certainly provided no hurricane protection, although the peninsula it was once connected to probably served as at least a speed bump against storms and tides.

It speaks to the larger issue of how Louisiana’s coast changes practically before our eyes.

Ida is another example of how people have lost some favorite point or fishing spot, so much so that the government a few years ago took the unusual step of removing the names of these locations from official maps.

They no longer exist.

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