Coastal Investments to Reduce Impacts of Hurricanes
Louisiana’s House Appropriations Committee has approved House Bill No. 2, the state’s Capital Outlay bill, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta reports.
The bill annually provides the funds for constructing projects across the state, projects that are needed more than ever because they provide jobs and stimulus to local economies.
An amendment was added in committee that removed $117 million of 2018-19 surplus funds that had been included for the state’s Coastal Trust Fund.
“With those dollars, the state planned to help fund 13 flood protection and coastal restoration projects across the coast, including the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Levee Project and other protection projects in Terrebonne, Vermilion and Cameron Parishes, and a number of restoration projects, such as the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion,” the Restore the Mississippi River Delta said.
As HB-2 advances toward a vote on the House floor, Restore the Mississippi River Delta – a coalition of national and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration including Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – issued the following statement in response:
“We understand the desire to save money, and that is exactly what investing in our coast does. These investments would provide economic stimulus and create jobs at a time when our state desperately needs both, even before they save lives and reduce the economic toll of future disasters.
“With our oil and gas and tourism industries reeling, the need to diversify Louisiana’s economy has never been more clear. The coastal sector is one of the strongest growth sectors of Louisiana’s economy and one of the few economic bright spots in recent years. The coastal sector is funded almost entirely by outside, non-state funding sources, but generates jobs and tax revenues within our state. By investing state surplus dollars into the coast, Louisiana can leverage additional federal sources of funding that will allow the state to protect people from flooding and create jobs.”
- According to a recent analysis by Dr. Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc., the construction of two restoration projects alone with support nearly 4,000 jobs, deliver $56.6 million in revenues to the State of Louisiana and increase regional business sales by $3.1 billion;
- A statewide poll of high-frequency Louisiana voters found that 97% of respondents want their elected officials to protect funding for coastal restoration and protection and 96% want their elected officials to prioritize coastal restoration and protection while in office;
- A National Institutes of Building Sciences study found that every $1 invested in disaster mitigation saves $6 in disaster recovery.