3. Katrina Case Study - Assessments


  1. Have students teach a family member about the connection between levee building, wetlands loss, and Hurricane Katrina. Have the family member write a short paragraph about what they learned from the student.
  2. Ask students to locate a wetland in their local area and find out what plants and animals are there, if they can visit it, and if there are any on-going habitat restoration efforts there.
  3. National Geographic ran an article in October 2004, 1 year before Katrina, discussing the loss of wetlands in Louisiana and the devastation that would be caused by a large hurricane. Have students read the article and make comparisons between the predictions and what actually happened a year later.

Going Further

  1. NOVA and Frontline will air “Storm that Drowned a City” on November 22 at 8 pm. It promises to be an hour long investigation of the science behind Hurricane Katrina, going into far more detail than the 15 minute video highlighted here.
  2. USGS has a great series of hands-on activities called the Fragile Fringe which provides extensive teacher information and resources on wetlands, their importance and their loss.
  3. GET INVOLVED! The EPA has an Adopt Your Watershed campaign encouraging kids to become environmental stewards and join forces with the many groups leading cleanup and restoration efforts around the country. To adopt a creek and conduct habitat restoration activities here in the Bay Area, my students and I have worked with: 
    • Save the Bay
    • EarthTeam
    • City of Oakland Public Works Agency
    • Urban Creeks Council