Ben Depp

Ben Depp is a documentary photographer and National Geographic Explorer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Much of Ben’s work has cent…

Coastal Erosion

About Losing Ground

Southern Louisiana, once formed by sediment deposited by the Mississippi River, is rapidly eroding. Over the past eighty years, Louisiana has lost 2,000 square miles of wetlands, accounting for ninety percent of the coastal marsh loss in the US. According to some estimates the Louisiana coast is eroding at the rate of an American football field every 40 minutes due to sea level rise, engineering of the Mississippi River, and the canals cut through the wetlands for oil exploration.

With a powered paraglider, I fly between ten and ten-thousand feet above the ground to make photographs that capture the imagination, documenting fragile ecosystems before they vanish. This intimate view from a birds-eye perspective prompts viewers to see and understand these landscapes in new ways and to re-examine our relationship to the environments that surround us.

With the support of Blue Earth Alliance, I am expanding my documentation of wetland loss in South Louisiana to document sea level rise and coastal erosion across the southern United States.