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Sunk swampland recovering post-Katrina

Louisiana, USA
NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Many of the hundreds of acres of swampland destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will take decades to recover, and some may never be the same.

In the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area south of U.S. 90, the hurricane passed through swampland, destroying vegetation and carving out a 200-acre depression that now, filled with water, has unofficially been dubbed Lake Katrina, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Invasive water hyacinths, which now carpet the lake, prevent native species from returning by covering the water's surface, depriving all life below of sunlight and oxygen, the newspaper said.

At Big Branch, a 15,000-acre federal preserve, about 2,400 acres of former marshland are now under standing water.

And at the White Kitchen Preserve, where the storm carved a 60-acre lake out of swampland, officials are also fighting a losing battle with water hyacinths and other invasive species.

But experts say nature will repair itself, if given enough time, and habitat lost to some animals can become new habitat to others.

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