Our Drowning Coast: Left to Louisiana’s tides, Jean Lafitte fights for time

Out toward the horizon, a fishing village appears on a fingerling of land, tenuously gripping the banks of a bending bayou. Just two miles north is the jagged tip of a fortresslike levee, a primary line of defense for New Orleans, whose skyline looms in the distance. Everything south of that 14-foot wall of demarcation, including the gritty little town of Jean Lafitte, has effectively been left to the tides. Jean Lafitte may be just a pinprick on the map, but it is also a harbinger of an uncertain future. As climate change contributes to rising sea levels, threatening to submerge land from Miami to Bangladesh, the question for Lafitte, as for many coastal areas across the globe, is less whether it will succumb than when — and to what degree scarce public resources should be invested in artificially extending its life. Video, images>click to read<21:20