Restoring the Louisiana Coast

Gov. John Bel Edwards has just released details on proposed legislation for protecting and restoring Louisiana’s coast.

These proposals are part of the governor’s legislative package that will be considered in the Regular Session that is set to begin on April 10.

This is a plan for all of Louisiana, not just one agency and not just for the coast. We are in a race against time to save our coast, and it is time we make bold decisions now. I look forward to discussing these plans with the legislature,” said Gov. Edwards.

According to Mr Edwards, the two measures will be introduced as concurrent resolutions and specifically address the Coastal Master Plan and the Coastal Annual Plan. Both will be pre-filed this week.

The Coastal Master Plan recommends 120 projects that will build or maintain more than 800 square miles of land and reduce expected damage by $8.3 billion annually by 2067.

Here are some additional key points:

  • The plan dedicates nearly $18 billion to marsh creation using dredged material.
  • It dedicates $5 billion to sediment diversions.
  • More than $2 billion will be used for other types of restoration projects.
  • $19 billion will go towards hurricane protection projects and $6 billion for nonstructural risk reduction.

Since 2007, the State of Louisiana has completed or funded for construction a total of 135 projects, resulting in nearly 31,000 acres of land benefitted, 275 miles of levee improvements and over 50 miles of barrier islands and berms constructed or under construction.

The Coastal Annual Plan must be submitted by the Coastal Restoration Protection Authority (CPRA) to the state legislature. The Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Plan includes $644 million in expenditures, with 30 projects currently scheduled to begin or continue construction in FY18.

Of these projects some of the largest include: NRDA Caillou Lake Headlands ($118 M), Lost Lake Marsh Creation and Hydrologic Restoration ($35.8 million), Jean Lafitte tidal protection ($29.4 million), and  Rosethorne Tidal protection ($22.9 million).

It also calls for the following:

  • $371 Million for construction;
  • $122.8 million for engineering and design;
  • $97.3 million for operation, maintenance, monitoring;
  • $33.2 million for operating costs;
  • $31.9 million ongoing programs and initiatives;
  • $6.7 million for planning.