• kael_alford2

    20 Feb 2017
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    June 2010
    The predominately Native American community of Pointe Aux Chene, Louisiana has been retreating inland since the 1940s due to massive coastal erosion that brought salt water into areas where fresh water was once available. Signs like this mark areas that were once settled and still contain sacred burial mounds on land ridges now accessible only by boat. After the BP oil spill, local tribes were concerned that these sacred areas would be contaminated with oil, and the members of the tribe where hired by BP to lay absorbent boom to help protect Indian Land which is granted extra protections under U.S. legislation.

    Erosion of these areas is largely the result of damage caused during oil and gas extraction. Navigation canals created by the oil and gas industry have been accelerating the process of land erosion. Without massive coastal restoration, the region is fighting a losing battle against land loss and storm destruction in the coming decades. The BP oil spill has only compounded the damage to people who make their livelihoods on the coast.
    Photo: Kael Alford/Panos Pictures