Home > Explore Data & Reports > Environmental Conditions in Northern Gulf of Mexico Coastal Waters Following Hurricane Katrina


Environmental Protection Agency. 2007. Environmental Conditions in Northern Gulf of Mexico Coastal Waters Following Hurricane Katrina. EPA-600-R-07-063. Gulf Breeze, FL. 57 pp.

Data/Report Type:



The results from this study represent a snapshot of ecological condition in coastal waters of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne-Mississippi Sound two months after the passing of Hurricane Katrina. The comparison of ecological indicators before and after the hurricane suggests considerable stability of these systems with respect to short-term ecological impacts. While some storm-related changes could be detected (e.g., effects on benthic communities associated with shifts in salinity), there was no consistent evidence to suggest widespread ecological damage. These coastal ecosystems in general appeared to have absorbed much of the physical impact of the storm along with any anthropogenic materials that may have been mobilized by the floodwater and storm surge. Yet, it must be noted that the present study, conducted shortly after the hurricane, was not designed to assess potential long-term chronic environmental effects. Follow-up studies are recommended to evaluate such impacts.

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