The Cook-off for the Coast celebrates the bounty of Southeast Louisiana and raises awareness about coastal restoration.
Millions of migratory waterfowl throughout the Mississippi and Central flyways use the warm Louisiana marshes annually as winter or stopover grounds. Coastal Louisiana offers the largest catch of redfish and world-class opportunities for speckled trout and bass—but this Sportsman’s Paradise is rapidly vanishing, especially in the Mississippi River Delta.
The Mississippi River Delta, which formed over thousands of years, is collapsing. Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost about 1,900 square miles of land into open water and the coastline continues to disappear at a rate of one football field every 100 minutes. As the delta disappears, so does the critical wildlife habitat and natural protection it provides to coastal communities. This is a conservation crisis of national importance.
The productivity of our region is reliant on a range of habitats–from the freshwater swamps that are home to alligators and crawfish to intermediate and brackish marshes where ducks, catfish and largemouth bass live and where crabs and shrimp start their life cycles. Without coastal restoration, we will continue to lose our estuary to the Gulf of Mexico and, with it, all the bounty that it brings to our kitchens and tables.
Robust, large-scale restoration projects, along with coastal protection and community resilience measures, are our best solutions for reducing land loss, and protecting our communities, our culture and the diversity of ecosystems that provide so much of the food we love.