Katrina Hall, 2014, Woodrow Wilson School
Facing severe coastal erosion, the state of Louisiana has developed a plan to create sediment diversions to nourish and rebuild the coastline. As an intern with EDF this summer, I studied how such diversions in the Mississippi River Delta area might impact the aquatic species that are most central to Louisiana’s recreational and commercial fisheries. Working primarily with data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I ranked species by value and weight caught. I created timelines and life history summaries for species, focusing on how salinity and temperature preferences shifted throughout the seasons. I analyzed Louisiana catch data during and following Mississippi flood years to see if the influx of freshwater had any discernible effects, looking at monthly, yearly, and regional data. I presented my findings to a group of people affiliated with Mississippi River Delta restoration. This internship improved my graphics, data analysis, and self study skills, and confirmed my interest in fisheries, which I hope to research for my senior thesis.