The ship traffic on the Mississippi River near Luling, La., just north of New Orleans. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

After reading the April 12 news article “Wetlands may be unable to keep pace with sea rise ,” one should not assume that all is lost for coastal Louisiana.

The Louisiana coast of the future will not be what it is today or once was, but it will continue to exist, although on a smaller footprint in order to be sustained in the face of land loss and sea-level rise.

Scientists who helped develop the state’s coastal master plan agree. They recognize that we cannot save the entire coast, but we must act boldly and quickly to maintain what we can.

Louisiana has a resource few other coastal areas do: the Mississippi River and the sediment it contains. Key to Louisiana’s future will be using the natural power of the river to move that sediment into areas that need it to build land. Researchers agree that these sediment diversion projects are our best shot at creating a sustainable delta into the future.

Louisiana’s coastline will change. But if we’re going to preserve the region’s unique people and culture, we need to move quickly, and smartly, to maintain as much of the coast as we can.

Natalie Snider Peyronnin, Bethesda

The writer is director of science policy for Mississippi River Delta Restoration at Environmental Defense Fund.