New Orleans's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | New Orleans, Louisiana | WWLTV.com

Tulane Study: Sea levels are rising faster than originally thought

Not only are water levels rising, but land is sinking

JEAN LAFITTE, La. — On Canal Road in Lafitte, Nicolas Dinet checks on his small boat. 

"I've been a fisher and guide for 12 years," Dinet said. 

He owns his own business called Nick's Marina. From the water to the Pelicans swimming nearby, Dinet loves Lafitte and can't imagine living anywhere else. 

"I don't got to worry about nothing, it's peaceful down here," Dinet said. 

With the peace and tranquility, there's concern. 

"There are places that I've fished with my grandfather and my dad that's gone. Lafitte didn't flood back in the day, now it's flooding. I've been down here now 20 years, and it seems like it's flooding more," Dinet said. 

According to a new Tulane University study, the method used for measuring sea levels should be revised. 

"Tide gauges are not sufficient to measure sea level rise. And it's actually rising faster than what we've previously assumed because tide gauges don't measure the whole process," Molly Keogh said. 

Keogh studies Wetland Science at Tulane. Her work is now the focus of a new article published this week in the journal "Ocean Science." 

"Sea Level rises has two parts. The rate at which the water is going up, but also the rate at which the land is going down. And that's the part that's variable...especially here in Louisiana," Keogh said. 

RELATED: Edwards outlines $300M in planned coastal project spending

Lafitte resident David Volion has noticed his land sinking. 

"If you can see the water table-underneath that old camp, well the water constantly rises! And even a ditch, doesn't really help it," Volion said. "If nobody does anything, how long is it going to take for it to get right here." 

Today Jefferson Parish leaders announced that they will receive $32 million of state funding to aid in coastal restoration. 

Over $22 million in flood protection measures will be dedicated to Jean Lafitte with $11.7 million going to build levees and provide flood protection to Lafitte in the Rosethorne basin area. $11 million will go to Goose Bayou in Jefferson Parish. 

The parish also says over $10 million will be used for levee beach stabilization repair work in Grand Isle. 

“The Jefferson Parish Coastal Management Department, along with President Yenni, look forward to working with the State on these important projects aimed to make a significant impact on our coastal restoration efforts,” said Lauren Averill, Coordinator for Jefferson Parish Coastal Management.

More than $350 million of state funding is being dedicated to Louisiana’s Coastal Program. 

“Protecting and restoring the coastlines in our parish is of the utmost importance and I am pleased to see specific funding being dedicated to these projects,” said Jefferson Parish Councilman Ricky Templet, District 1. “Jean Lafitte Mayor Kerner, Grand Isle Mayor Camardelle and I are also looking forward to working with Chip Kline in his new capacity as we aim to improve our coastline.”

"We're known for our seafood. we're known to come and have a good time on bourbon street. But take that all away and it starts from the gulf. We've got to protect it...or we don't have it," Dinet said.