La. Gov. John Bel Edwards yesterday joined with members of the House and Senate to acknowledge the state’s coastal program accomplishments since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and outlined additional measures to deliver master plan projects more quickly.
Following the devastation of 2005, the legislature created the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Board to be the single entity to articulate the state’s policies and priorities for coastal projects and programs.
The CPRA established a science and engineering-based Coastal Master Plan for a systematic approach to one of the most complex environmental, social, and economic problems. That plan is, by law, updated every five years. The 2017 update is currently before the legislature.
Referencing the 2017 Master Plan, Governor Edwards stated, “We have the plan, we have the expertise, and we have identified more than $10 billion dollars of the $50 billion that we need.”
“In order to make the most of this opportunity, to be able to make the biggest impact on our landscape in the fight against land loss, we are going to need to be able to get projects on the ground as quickly as possible. We’re in a race against time,” Governor Edwards added.
“Last month I issued an emergency declaration for coastal Louisiana. It was transmitted to the president and to Congress,” Edwards said, “so that we could forcefully communicate to the rest of the country and to our leadership in Washington and all of our federal partners.”
Governor Edwards closed by asking for support of the master plan in the coming weeks. He also challenged that “we have to communicate to folks that we have the discipline, under very tight budgetary constraints, to make sure that that dollars that are there for coastal protection and restoration are spent on coastal protection and restoration.”