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That web site has some great photos of the Gulf Coast from the Chandeleur Islands to Florida fromthe air. They were taken 9/17 - 9/18 They are interesting.

Notice all of the new cuts through the Chandeleur Island. It used to be a big cresent shaped island.

Island chain took brunt of state's storm toll
Surveys show Ivan mauled Chandeleurs
Monday, September 20, 2004
By Mark Schleifstein, Staff writer

Several of Louisiana's fragile barrier islands were swamped, shredded and washed away by Hurricane Ivan, according to aerial surveys conducted by federal and state officials and university researchers.

The Chandeleur island chain, about 60 miles east of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, was chopped into a hundred pieces, similar to damage that occurred during Hurricane Georges in 1998, said Shea Penland, a geologist at the University of New Orleans who participated in some of the flights.

"There were so many cuts, they were too numerous to count," said Elizabeth Souheaver, project leader of Southeast Louisiana Refuges for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which oversees the Chandeleur chain.

Half of Breton Island, the site of a celebration last month to commemorate the 100th anniversary of being named the nation's second national wildlife refuge, is gone, Souheaver said.

It is unclear how the storm affected a variety of bird species that use the island as a rookery. Many of their young had already fledged and scattered in the weeks before the storm, Souheaver said.

Nearby Curlew and Gosier islands have disappeared entirely, according to officials with the U.S. Geological Survey, one of the agencies monitoring the islands by air.

Hurricane Ivan packed winds up to 140 mph while just off Louisiana's coastline, with some buoy weather stations recording waves 25 to 50 feet high. A storm surge of more than 16 feet was recorded in several areas where its eye went ashore in Alabama and Florida overnight Wednesday.

The islands provide a first line of defense against such surge effects on Louisiana's coastline, scientists say. Computer modeling of the potential effects of Ivan's surge run by Louisiana State University Hurricane Center associate director Ivor van Heerden in the hours before it went ashore showed a significant reduction in surge height just west of the Chandeleurs.

The Chandeleur chain had been successfully recovering from the effects of Georges, Tropical Storm Isidore and Hurricane Lili, which hammered the Louisiana coast within a 10-day span in the fall of 2002, Penland said.

Some of that recovery was the result of Breaux Act coastal restoration projects, including one that planted seagrass on the back edge of the island chain, and another that had deposited sand just offshore of Breton from where it drifted onto the island's beaches.

"If there's a silver lining to Ivan's damage, Penland said, it is that the hurricane served as a test case for a variety of island protection and restoration projects on Grand Isle and the Isles Dernieres, on the state's southern coastline.

On Grand Isle, officials have used a combination of huge boulders and smaller rock jetties and groins in attempts to break the effects of waves hitting the shore, and to capture sand washed onto the island.

Penland said it was clear from the initial survey following Ivan that the rock projects haven't worked. The rock lines cause an erosional shadow just past the area they protect, where the beach eroded even more rapidly and deeply, he said. But at the island's western end, where the rock barriers aren't being used, the beach remains straight and wide, he said.

"The key to making the rocks work is to break the **** things up and grind them into sand particles and put them out there," Penland said."

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Yeah, and Galveston is allowing Centex to build lakes on the island on the West End. Just paving the way for Galveston to look just like that picture. Unreal.
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