Historically, the significance of this region has not been fully understood or appreciated, but Louisiana’s coastal assets are essential to America’s economy.
Louisiana is America’s third largest producer of petroleum, and the second largest producer of natural gas, supplying slightly more than one-quarter of the total U.S. production.
The state is the second largest producer of sugar cane and sweet potatoes, and the third largest rice producer. It is home to the nation’s farthest inland port for sea-going ships and America’s only port capable of handling “superships.” More than 25-percent of the nation’s waterborne exports are shipped through the Louisiana’s five major ports.
It is the nation’s largest handler of grain for export to world markets, with more than 40 percent of the U.S. grain exports move through its ports.
Louisiana coastal waters have the biggest and most diversified freshwater fisheries production in America. Its commercial fishing industry produces 25 percent of all the seafood in America, second only in catches to Alaska. More shrimp are caught in Louisiana waters than in any other place in America, and its oyster production is the highest in the United States.
Sixty percent of all North American birds, 326 species, use the Mississippi River Basin as their migratory flyway. And the city of New Orleans’ importance cannot be overstated, famous around the world for its food, music, architecture and culture.