NEW ORLEANS — Minutes from the New Orleans Central Business District, an airboat whisks us into another world, a seemingly untouched place populated by alligators and bald eagles.
But Russell Easley grew up here, and he’s seen dramatic changes in the southeast Louisiana landscape since his childhood.
“The trees used to come way out here. Now when you ride through, you’ll hit the stumps. You’ll find the stumps, but there are no longer any trees. Salt water intrusion killed them.”
Easley owns New Orleans Airboat Tours, and he finds the wide open spaces that once were forested swamp disturbing.
“It’s very dangerous,” Easley said. “Here in Louisiana, where we’re at, we lose 31 square miles of coast every year. That’s a football field every 30 minutes. We’ve been on this boat for an hour and a half now. That’s three football fields we’ve lost. They ain’t coming back.”