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Losing Louisiana

James Fletcher travels to the coastal wetlands of Louisiana, where each hour, the sea washes away vast tracts of land that sustain local communities rich in Cajun culture.

Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, leaving over 1800 people dead and causing billions of dollars of damage. It was dramatic and destructive - but Katrina has been described as 'like a cold suffered by a cancer patient'. The cancer is the erosion of the coastal wetlands of Southern Louisiana, a slow motion environmental disaster that has continued almost unabated since Katrina. Caused by the taming of the Mississippi and oil and gas exploration, a football field of coastal land washes away every hour, and with it the homes, places and livelihoods that have sustained the storied Cajun culture. James Fletcher travels to Bayou Lafourche and the town of Leeville to get to know one community facing the reality of losing their past and their future.

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28 minutes

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