Every hour, a football-field-sized area of Louisiana slips away into the Gulf of Mexico. This irreversible process has already submerged much of the wetlands, wiping out numerous habitats, job opportunities and countless memories.

It’s been happening for years, though there has been little done to help the sinking state.

venice_gif

According to a survey from the U.S.G.S. (United States Geological Survey), if land continues to disappear at this rate, a Rhode-Island-sized chunk of Louisiana will be submerged by 2064. This isn’t hard to believe considering that since 1932, a patch of land equivalent to the sate of Delaware has already disappeared. On top of that, Hurricane Katrina only sped up the process by wiping out a sizable piece of the wetlands. It’s a disheartening thought but a very true fact that we’re gradually losing one of our 50 states.

The solution is nothing new. Prevention entails reinforcing barriers and laws, which have already been put into effect. The flaw, as some say, is the iconic image of the boot shaped state that adorn everything from signs to stickers and t-shirts. The “L” projects a false representation of the area of land the state actually encompasses. Offering a truer image of the disappearing state could elicit more awareness of this unavoidable reality.

Business Insider collaborated with Andrea Galinksi of C.P.R.A. (Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority) to render a more realistic image of the Louisiana “boot” at its present state. Consider the differences between the images below:

1-qftkxngemb-zxgi9cxbpoq

It’s a minor change, but could result in major progress. Replacing the present image of the boot with the more accurate representation would be a groundbreaking move into facing the existing truth, a reality too few are aware of.

Sources: Business Insider, Scientific American