The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, would broaden the scope of the Nutria Eradication and Control Act to include all states — not just Louisiana and Maryland, where the invasive, orange-toothed rodent has eaten away coastal marshes for decades.
…Nutria are one of many factors contributing to rapid land loss along Louisiana’s coast. The major causes include oil and gas exploration, sea level rise, soil subsidence and the loss of replenishing sediment since the Mississippi River was brought under control with levees.
…Gnawing away the roots of marsh plants, nutria leave little to hold the fragile landscape in place. More than 40 square miles of Louisiana’s coast have been turned into open water by nutria over the past two decades, according to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.