Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Louisiana holds the majority of the contiguous United States’ coastal wetlands by area, providing significant benefits to users in the form of ecosystem services. Climate change, relative sea level rise, and coastal sediment budget deficits among other anthropogenic processes impact the resilience and sustainability of Louisiana’s coastal systems. Since the implementation of the Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) to restore coastal wetlands in the United States, multiple barrier island restoration projects have taken place in the greater Terrebonne Basin. Amassing a catalog of case studies elucidates the social, ecological, and economic frameworks behind barrier island restoration and contributes to environmental problem solving. Understanding the nearly three decades of ecological restoration planning and management taking place on barrier islands in the Terrebonne Bay builds ideographic knowledge of climate change adaptation planning and ecological engineering by understanding singular restoration events in a cohesive narrative. The goal of this research is to understand how scientific monitoring programs can be enhanced inform and shape climate change adaption planning and management, including policy. Although restoration planning clearly integrated the results of barrier island restoration scientific monitoring, one is left wondering if the long-term vision for maintaining barrier islands is sustainable, and what could be done to manage the system differently. The design and evaluation of project monitoring may need to occupy stronger role in the development of future climate change adaptation planning and management actions.

Committee Chair

Brian Snyder

Available for download on Monday, March 16, 2026

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