Seeking the Future of Louisiana's Coast in its Past: A Detective Story - Baton Rouge Group Lecture Series

Bellin 1764 LaCoast, courtesy of Special Collections LSU libraries.

Dr. Richard Condrey, LSU Dept. of Oceanography (ret.) will discuss some amazing findings regarding the Last Naturally Active Delta Complexes of the Mississippi River and why an understanding of them is critical to any efforts to restore the coast during the next occasion of the Lecture Series of the Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club on Wednesday, June 24th to be held at The Backpacker.

"Seeking the Future of Louisiana's Coast in its Past: A Detective Story" -Richard Condrey

Explore Louisiana’s coast through the eyes of the early Spanish, French, and U.S. explorers and cosmographers – from Chaves (ca. 1537) to Audubon (1837) – seeking lessons from our past for our future. See the last natural delta – a vast seaward-advancing arc, building islands and land; driven by organic forces; rimmed with offshore oyster reefs, dangerous shoals, shallow inlets,and massive drift trees; feed by the annual spring flood and four all-season distributaries of the Mississippi. Watch as Spanish galleons, carrying New World treasure from Vera Cruz to Spain, safely anchored at the western end of Louisiana’s great (> 2,000 km2 of offshore oyster reefs.

Join thankful Spanish and French sailors as they drink from sheets of freshwater carried into the Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi’s spring flood. Gaze on our coast teaming with bison; Carolina parakeets; endless trembling marshes; and impenetrable cypress swamps and cane breaks. Ponder with Audubon over the demise of our vast offshore oyster reef. Consider our plans to restore a coastal delta which began above present day Baton Rouge and extended along the coast for >400 km from St. Bernard into Vermillion Parishes.

Refreshments at 7:00pm with talk beginning at 7:15pm.
The Backpacker, 7656 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Following the presentation, guests are invited to retreat with us to a nearby restaurant for dinner. for any updates.

Image Bellin: 1764 LaCoast, courtesy of Special Collections LSU libraries.

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