Future Storms, Global Warming Could Devastate Louisiana Coast

The governor recently committed another $1 billion, in addition to the billions in federal money, to reverse the coastal damage. Jindal joined Woodruff for a helicopter tour of the wetlands, high above the bayou.

"If you're interested in hurricane protection, if you're appalled by what happened in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, you should care about this," Jindal said. "Every 2 miles of healthy wetlands reduce tidal surge by a foot. Every year, we're losing 30 miles off this coast. It's important environmentally, it's important for energy, it's important for people's lives."

A Costly Problem

It's important because up to 18 percent of the U.S. oil supply comes through Port Fourchon. And most of it is from rigs located a few miles out into the Gulf of Mexico.

"To give you a perspective, you've got about 5,000 of these structures in the world," Jindal said. "Four thousand of them [are] off our coast out here in the Gulf."

That's why, he said, the federal government and the rest of the nation should have a vested interest in preserving the Louisiana coastline.

"All it takes is a Category 5 direct hit, and we'll all be thinking, 'Why didn't we invest in the coast when we had the chance?'" Jindal said. "It would have been cheaper to fix it in the first place."

Many scientists predict over the next decade we'll see stronger hurricanes -- Category 4 and 5 hurricanes even more violent than Katrina. The cause, some argue, is rising sea surface temperatures caused by global warming.

"I think [we should] let the best science decide," Jindal said when asked his opinion on the global warming debate. "It's pretty clear to me that the land is sinking, the water's rising, and that means that we better act today."

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