Influence of hurricanes on coastal ecosystems along the Gulf of Mexico
Hurricanes generally produced net benefits not negative impacts to the coast and its coastal systems. Although hurricanes do cause a great deal of erosion, they do provide a great deal of inorganic sediments which create new wetlands and maintain existing wetlands. Washover deposits in natural areas are part of the development cycle, and these deposits provide diversity and productivity. Rainfall also plays an important role in this cycle. Sediment and nutrient inputs increase due to rainfall; these factors also contribute to productivity. Population decreases usually recover, while damage to human-modified wetlands is long-term.