Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico


In Louisiana there are two, maybe three, great bodies of water which both control and influence everything we are and everything we do.  The first, from an environmental perspective, is the Gulf of Mexico.  The second, from an economic perspective is the Mississippi river.  The third, which is a part of both, is the estuarine system of the three lakes of Maurepas, Pontchartrain and Borgne.


Once, about  6,000 years ago, the melt water coursing down the center of the North American continent from the melting of the North American ice pack, scoured out a channel whose terminus was through the above mentioned lakes, it was deep and it was fast.  As the moraine and the sediment settled into what was then a deep depression of a former seabed, which had been impacted about 65 million years ago by a fairly large asteroid, causing the extermination of about 95 percent of all life forms on the planet, including the terrible lizards–hey, like George Carlin says, “They were not so terrible; they were just doing their thing as the creative process had predetermined in its process of evolution throughout the macro cosmos.”

Call it what you may, interpret it as you will, the process lives.  It was initiated and is still developing.  Our teensy micro part of it is only what we make of it.  The process is impartial, as is the force, which does not give a flip about us as individuals. The process which sent an asteroid crashing to earth during the Jurassic era, did not give a flip about the dinosaurs.  Although as a society, we must deal with the environment which the process has created: i.e. the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River and the estuarine system of the the Lake Pontchfartrain Basin.  There is little we can do to impact the formation or course of hurricanes, as this is a natural force, the physics of which are a part of the on-going process.  What we can do is observe and understand and learn and take proper measures to lessen the effect of these natural forces upon our human activities.  A wall of water in a storm surge is as impartial as you can get.  It exerts enormous hydrodynamic pressures and reacts in certain immutable ways according to the laws of physics.  For instance, during Hurrican Ivan September15, 2004, the interstate over Escambia Bay in Pensacola, Florida was destroyed due to 900,000 pounds per square inch?????of upward pressure exerted on the underside of the structure while tons of  wind-driven water exerted lateral pressure on the concrete and steel structure. With the loss of thousands of square miles of wetlands and barrier islands there is less to slow down or lessen the force of storm surges.

First is the Gulf of Mexico Program.

Gulf Guardian Award
Second is the Mississippi River
Third is Lake Pontchartrain.
Fourth is Bayou Lacombe and others