Commuting statistics indicate that coastal parishes are losing residents because of coastal erosion, according to a new report released Sunday by the New Orleans-based Data Center. And it says those left behind are on average older, poorer or otherwise vulnerable.
According to the report, “coastal populations facing rising sea levels are moving to higher ground. Repeated flooding, frequent evacuations and inability to get insurance are all factors that have contributed to residents’ decisions to migrate inland. The population left behind is on average older, poorer or otherwise vulnerable.”
The report says “several small coastal communities including Theriot, Dulac, Montegut, Chauvin, Cut Off, Lafitte and Port Sulphur have lost occupied households continually since July 2005.”
In Plaquemines Parish, 72 percent of all workers commute into the parish, up from 69 percent in 2004.
The increase was faster in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. However, Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet says the reason isn't erosion but an economic boom. He says the parishes cannot supply enough skilled workers. Claudet says lots of people are looking to move into Terrebonne, but homes sell quickly and few apartments or hotel rooms are vacant.