Standing in the long grass on the land where he was born, with the sea now lapping just meters away, Chief Albert Naquin remembers Isle de Jean Charles as a wonderful place to grow up.
“It’s like night and day – we were totally self-sufficient here. Now you have to go off the island to survive,” he said of his community in southeast Louisiana – one that is being dispersed by the encroaching waves of the Gulf of Mexico.
Since the 1950s, the small strip of land – once 11 miles (18 km) by 5 miles (8 km) – has lost 98 percent of its mass, according to the U.S. Land Remote Sensing Program. It is linked to the mainland by a road flanked by water on either side.
The fear is that the “island”, as it is known, could wash away in the next big storm.