Spring 2018 CC&E graduates portrait

About the College

LSU’s College of the Coast and Environment educates tomorrow’s workforce and leaders, undertakes interdisciplinary discovery, and improves the understanding of the interaction between complex human and natural systems, particularly in coastal regions.

CC&E faculty and researchers are experts in a wide range of fields and work to preserve the legacy, culture and beauty of our great state. Our research initiatives include:

  • Expanding our knowledge of deltaic processes and ecosystem modeling
  • Advancing our understanding of the physical and biological coupling within our coastal ocean and estuaries
  • Restoring barrier islands
  • Improving hydrology in salt, brackish, and freshwater marshes
  • Protecting fish and shellfish for commercial and recreational use
  • Providing early warning capability against devastating storms
  • Providing effective environmental remediation
    Continuing to advance our environmental health, law, policy and management
  • And more!

Louisiana’s coast and environment is important to human life and well-being, commerce, jobs, fisheries, recreation, energy and more! The state loses 25–35 square miles of coastal wetlands every year. Stabilizing and maintaining this disappearing resource is critical to Louisiana’s future. Our wetlands, along with the coastal barrier islands along the Gulf of Mexico, represent the first line of defense against the destructive forces of hurricanes and severe storms. Louisiana’s coastal environment is a major energy supplier for our nation and home to a significant part of the world’s rice and sugarcane production. Our coastal environment supports one of the world’s most important fisheries, waterfowl and wildlife. Added to this mix, 2 million Louisiana residents live within 50 miles of the coast.

Advancing knowledge in the coast and environment is CC&E’s mission. The relationship between coastal wetlands and primary and secondary production; fisheries nursery ground functions; water filtration and nutrient uptake; and storm-surge buffering are just some of the research areas that CC&E scientists and students explore and study. Important remedial action include managing the flow of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers; building wetlands by introducing freshwater into the northern reaches of the coastal marshes; and rebuilding the barrier islands that absorb the impact of hurricanes and other severe storms. Fundamental to the success of these projects is understanding the Gulf of Mexico itself—ocean currents and eddies, life cycles, productivity, and weather patterns. The freshwater and sediment loads of the Mississippi River create a dynamic region along our coast. High nutrient content from the river is blamed for the dead zone that forms each summer west of the river mouth, while simultaneously being credited for the Gulf’s “Fertile Crescent” and fisheries production. Meanwhile, the transport of sediments, or the lack thereof, shapes and reshapes our shoreline and barrier islands. As important as the coast and coastal wetlands are, there is more to Louisiana’s environment: the air, soil, and potable water. For the health and well-being of our citizens, and for the future economic development and viability of the state, a clean, safe, and productive environment is an absolute requirement.

An interdisciplinary, world-renowned faculty leads CC&E in conducting research in campus laboratories and in natural laboratories in Louisiana and around the world.