The story of coastal Louisiana is the story of the Mississippi River. For 7,000 years, the Mississippi River deposited sediment across the delta and built land. Human efforts to control the Mississippi River came with the European colonization of Louisiana in the 1700s and the expansion of the United States in the 1800s.
Following the Flood of 1927, the determination of the Mississippi River to meander was met with the determination of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to develop a flood protection system that would stand the test of time. In the vicinity of Morganza, Louisiana, the USACE built the Old River Control Structure and the Morganza Floodway in order to prevent the Mississippi River from changing its primary course down the Atchafalaya River. It is at this critical node in flood protection that we can begin to understand why the Mississippi River has stopped replenishing coastal wetlands and why it's still possible for Louisiana to flood.