The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter today to Governor John Bel Edwards, signed by 28 Louisiana business associations, chambers of commerce and other organizations, urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state’s Coastal Master Plan.
“Our ongoing land loss crisis creates significant business risks to the many industries that depend on a healthy Gulf ecosystem,” said the letter.
“A recent study prepared for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority evaluated the economic impact of coastal land loss in the state. Their report showed that another 25 years of continued land loss would cost residents and business owners $2.1 billion to replace commercial and residential properties, roads, rails and pipelines lost due to erosion. Disruption to business activities during that same time period would cause an additional loss of $5.8 billion. Implementing our Coastal Master Plan can help reduce such losses.”
“Investing in coastal restoration will not only reduce the economic impact to businesses and communities, but will actually grow the economy through development of a new water management sector and expertise,” continued the letter.
A recent analysis by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition based on The Data Center’s methodology shows that water management – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – is the fastest growing industry in southeast Louisiana, with more than 32,000 jobs.
Coastal restoration is not only the biggest job creator in the region, it also has some of the highest-paying jobs, averaging $69,277 per year.